Kingdom pledges to go after Islamic State militants ‘wherever they are’; U.A.E sends fighter jets to aid Jordan
Jordan is going after Islamic State group militants wherever they are and plans to “wipe them out completely,” Jordan’s interior minister said, as Jordanian fighter jets struck the group’s positions for the third consecutive day Saturday.
Jordan launched the raids to avenge the killing of a Jordanian pilot the Islamic State group captured in Syria in December. The militant group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, released a video of burning a Jordanian pilot to death in a cage.
The kingdom joined a U.S.-led military coalition in September, but said after the killing of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, that it would intensify its air attacks. Interior Minister Hussein al-Majali said al-Kaseasbeh’s killing was a turning point for Jordan.
He told the state-run al-Rai newspaper in comments published yesterday that Jordan will go after the militants “wherever they are.”
The most recent airstrikes are “the beginning of a continued process to eliminate them and wipe them out completely,” he said of the militants who control about a third of neighboring Syria and Iraq.
U.A.E sends fighter jets to aid Jordan
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates said yesterday it ordered a squadron of F-16 fighters to Jordan, demonstrating support for Jordan’s pledge to hunt down ISIS militants and “wipe them out completely.”
The United Arab Emirates said Saturday that it ordered a squadron of F-16 fighter planes to Jordan to help with the airstrikes. State news agency WAM carried the announcement.
Both Jordan and the UAE are members of the U.S.-led coalition attacking the militants in their captured territory in Iraq and Syria. Coalition airstrikes also continued Saturday, as the fate of the American aid worker being held by Islamic State remained unknown.