King Abdullah II has returned to Amman for security talks. In light of the murder of pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, the US looks likely to expedite the delivery of weapons to Jordan.
In response to the gruesome murder of one of his army's pilots at the hands of the "Islamic State" (IS) terrorists, Jordan's king, Abdullah II, hurried home on Wednesday, cutting short a visit with US lawmakers and President Barack Obama in Washington.
Abdullah was greeted by large crowds at the airport in the capital Amman before going straight into talks with his security chiefs. The king described the deceased Muath al-Kasaesbeh, 26, as a hero, and swore to step up the battle against IS.
'Take revenge for Muath'
An IS video purporting to show the pilot being burned alive has sparked global revulsion, as well as unequivocal condemnation from a number of influential Muslim clerics. Demonstrations were organized in Amman and the city of Karak, the home of Kasaesbeh's tribe.
Kasaesbeh's father, Saif, swore revenge on IS, saying that the execution of militants Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouli, the former of which IS had wanted Jordan to free in exchange for the pilot, was not going far enough.
Saif Yousef al- Kasaesbeh urged his government to "take revenge for Muath and to take revenge for the country, even before Muath."
US Congress moves to send arms to Jordan
The death of Kasaesbeh helped build bipartisan support for increased US military assistance in Congress on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press news agency. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said King Abdullah must be given "all of the military equipment" necessary to combat IS. Republican Senator John McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, said he expected the panel to swiftly approve the appropriate legislation.
"We've got to get them the weapons they need," especially more sophisticated arms, McCain told CNN. He also repeated his criticism of the Obama's administration's strategy for dealing with IS, calling it "no strategy" at all.
Obama offered his "deepest condolences" to Abdullah over the death of Kasaesbeh in a private meeting between the two leaders before the king left Washington.
es/kms (AP, AFP)