Led by the King of Jordan, the Air Force claimed to have destroyed multiple ISIS strongholds in retaliation to their fallen comrade.
Merely two days after ISIS claimed to have brutally burned a captive Jordanian pilot to death, the Middle Eastern nation hit back, and is promising a lot more where that came from. Fighter jets carried out precision airstrikes on Thursday, and then as a tribute, flew over the home of the slain 27-year-old pilot, Lt. Moath al-Kasasbeh, in the village of Ay in Karak governorate.
An official statement from the armed forces later said, “This is just the beginning and you shall know who the Jordanians are.”
The airstrikes, named “Moath the Martyr,” were deemed successful. The Air Force claimed hits on ISIS training centers as well as arms and ammunition depots with zero collateral damage.
“All targets were completely destroyed and all the planes returned to their bases safely.”
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh made a rather contradicting statement, explaining the airstrikes marked the beginning of his nation’s retaliation over the pilot’s death, but not the start of its fight against terrorism. However, he vowed to destroy ISIS.
“We are upping the ante. We’re going after them wherever they are, with everything that we have. But it’s not the beginning, and it’s certainly not the end.”
About 30 Jordanian fighter jets participated in the strikes that were promised by King Abdullah II to the slain pilot’s father, Safi al-Kasasbeh. King Abdullah II had categorically stated that Jordan would avenge his son’s death. True to his word, Jordan’s Air Force bombard ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.
Speaking on the state media, King Abdullah II appealed to his people to stay united in the fight against the ISIS terrorist outfit.
“The homeland is entrusted to you all. For you (troops) to honor Moath is to uphold your oath and to follow in his footsteps as soldiers for God, his prophet (and) Islam… in defending this dear homeland.”
Jordan is one of a handful of Middle Eastern nations taking an active part in the U.S.-led military coalition against ISIS. Thursday’s strikes were the latest that Jordan’s military has carried out against ISIS, which captured Moath al-Kasasbeh after his F-16 fighter jet crashed near Raqqa on December 24. The ISIS executed Moath by mercilessly burning him while he was being held captive in a cage.
[Image Credit | Defence.pk, Video Screen Grab]