On Tuesday night, the Islamic State (IS) published an atrocious video showcasing another prisoner being murdered. This time, Jordan confirmed the death of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, 26, who was shown walking at gunpoint and then being burned alive. As informed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Kasasbeh had been held hostage since last December, when his plane crashed down in Syria during a mission against the IS.
The video release coincided with Jordan’s King Abdullah II meeting in Washington DC with the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama. The King addressed Jordan on national TV urging for “unity against the extremist group”, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. “In these difficult moments, it is the duty of all the nation’s people to stand in one line and to show the true element of the Jordanian people in facing this adversity,” the King said.
A spokesman for the Jordanian government promised “an earth-shattering response” against the IS. As reported by the Associated Press, Jordan executed two prisoners: Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman (whose release the militants had demanded), and Ziad al-Karbouli; both were hanged early Wednesday. The army spokesman, Mamdouh al-Ameri, said the country would strike back hard. “Our punishment and revenge will be as huge as the loss of the Jordanians”, al-Ameri stated.
The death of pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh has caused mixed emotions in the Jordanian people. In the southern region of Jordan, some have manifested their anger for the government’s role in the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State. While in Karak, hometown of Kasasbeh, hundreds of people gathered chanting anti-Islamic State slogans.
On Thursday, King Abdullah II visited Aya, the village were the pilot’s family lived. Abdullah met with Saif al-Kasasbeh, the pilot’s father, while Jordanian warplanes flew overhead after returning from a raid on Syria’s Raqqa, the de facto capital of the IS, within Iraq and Syria. “You are a wise monarch,” Reuters quotes him as saying. “These criminals violated the rules of war in Islam and they have no humanity. Even humanity disowns them.”
For more information:
Islamic State Releases Video Purporting to Show Jordanian Pilot’s Death (The Wall Street Journal)
Jordan executes 2 al-Qaida prisoners after IS kills pilot (Associate Press)
Photo by: Patrick Neckman