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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Jordan launches unprecedented spate of airstrikes on ISIS targets

Dozens of air strikes have been launched against ISIS

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AMMAN, Jordan - A Jordanian official says dozens of air strikes have been launched against ISIS militants since the group released a video last week showing the burning to death of a Jordanian fighter pilot.

Jordan said at the time it would retaliate harshly for the brutal execution of the pilot, who was doused in petrol and set on fire in a cage.

The video released by the militant group has provoked international outrage, with the Arab World uniting in its condemnation of the killing. Even Muslim clerics and Arab leaders sympathetic to the terrorist group have criticised the act.

Jordan has been a member of a US-led military coalition against ISIS since September. After the release of the video, the Jordanian government said it would intensify bombing raids, promising a "ground shaking response" to the killing of Mouath al-Kasaesbeh.

Government spokesperson Mohammed al-Momani said on Sunday that Jordan has launched dozens of airstrikes since the pilot's death, without elaborating, but said the militant group has been "kept on the run".

Meanwhile, another coalition member, the United Arab Emirates, has announced it is sending a squadron of F-16 fighters to Jordan. The United Arab Emirates pulled out of the anti-ISIS coalition after Mouath al-Kasaesbeh was captured, citing a lack of search-and-rescue capability for downed pilots.

However, following the release of the brutal video showing the Jordanian pilot's execution, the UAE has rejoined the coalition and has resumed airstrikes against the group.

Meanwhile, retired US General John Allen, the United States' special envoy for building a coalition against ISIS, has said that the group's execution of the Jordanian pilot by burning him alive has backfired.

Allen said the killing had galvanised the US-led coalition that is fighting over Syria and Iraq.

Allen told ABC that the video released last week showing the pilot's death was "a very important moment for our Arab allies within the coalition" and would create "additional unity."

Muslim clerics have widely condemned the burning to death of Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, saying such a form of killing was considered despicable by Islam.

Arab leaders, attending a security conference in Munich, have now bemoaned what they called a lack of strategy and weapons in the fight against militants such as ISIS, suggesting the Arab World may be planning to take a more active role in countering such groups.

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