King Abdullah of Jordan strikes back, following the brutal murder of one of his pilots by ISIS terrorists, who burned the caged man alive. The Arab nation didn’t waste any time pounding the group’s strongholds in Syria and is claiming “it’s just the beginning.”
In stark contrast to President Obama’s apparent hesitation in the face of the horrific video showing the killing of the Jordanian pilot, captured by ISIS when his plane crashed inside Syria during a mission in support of U.S. led operations, Abdullah swiftly ordered the execution of two terrorists held by Jordan.
Additionally, there are rumors that the King — who is a former general and special forces commando, and a trained pilot — could potentially lead his men in the fight against ISIS. A government official denied the reports — published by the Arab publication An-Ahar — that the King will take part in the airstrikes.
King Abdullah’s promised an “earthshaking” response, which reflects the anger and outrage at the brutal images seen in the ISIS video showing the Jordanian pilot being burned alive. The royal personally visited the father of Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh, Safi — who is member of a prominent Jordanian tribe — and promised that he would be “following up personally on Muath’s case,” which many believed to mean that he would be leading the Jordanian forces himself.
In a private meeting, King Abdullah reportedly said “the Jordanian military would fight ISIS until they were out of fuel or bullets” and referenced Clint Eastwood’s speech about retribution in the movie Unforgiven, according to Newsweek.
Jon Alterman, director of the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ Middle East Program, told Fox News that Jordan’s military is extremely capable and well-trained.
“Their ability to do difficult things with small numbers of highly trained people is up there with some of the best military in the world.”
“The king is very serious about being a military guy. For much of his life, he thought he was going to be a special forces commander and for some time he was.”
“He didn’t do that from the back of chauffeured cars. He did that from Black Hawk helicopters and command posts at the site of terrorist raids. The military is what gets him excited.”
This may be a great opportunity for King Abdullah to get directly involved in avenging the murder of his pilot at the hands of ISIS.
David Schenker, former adviser to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and director of the Arab politics program at the Washington Institute, believes the 53-year-old royal is more comfortable jumping out of planes than meeting foreign dignitaries. Despite King Abdullah’s determination to fight ISIS, Jordanians are somewhat divided and don’t want to get involved in fighting the terrorists for fear that more soldiers will suffer the consequences.
“There are obvious risks with upping the ante. There’s a very real prospect that more Jordanians will come into harm’s way and more more troops will be taken captive or killed.”
“It remains to be seen whether this desire for revenge will be sustained.”
King Abdullah strikes back with 20 missions to bomb ISIS targets inside Syria on Thursday, following-up on his promise to wage “harsh” war against the terrorist group and avenge the horrific death of his Jordanian pilot.
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