By Nehad Ismail
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has lost 20 percent of its military capabilities since the start of U.S.-led coalition air strikes in September, General Mansour Al-Jbour, head of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, said in a press conference on Sunday 8th February.
Jordan has carried out nearly 20 percent of the total sorties conducted by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Syria to date, Jbour said, adding that they had been careful not to hit any civilians.
The sorties have led to the “degrading” of nearly 20 percent of the hardline militants’ capabilities, he said: “We are determined to wipe them from the face of the Earth.
King Abdullah II of Jordan has attracted lot of praise and words of encouragement from a huge number of people on the social media for his strong words and forceful military response to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s murder of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh. The otherwise taciturn King has emerged suddenly as a terrifying foe to organized terror. According to the Washington Examiner “Americans have been cheered up by one tough-talking world leader: The king of Jordan.”
Following the news that DAESH or ISIS murdered the Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh, King Abdullah who was visiting the USA told U.S. lawmakers in a closed door meeting that he would pursue the group, until Jordan’s military runs “out of fuel and bullets.
“The blood of the martyred hero Muath al-Kasasbeh will not go in vain,” he said last week, according to the Jordan Times “We are waging this war to protect our faith, values and humanitarian principles.”
A rumour he would personally fly sorties against the terrorist group was denied.
“Jordan’s King Abdullah took swift revenge against ISIS. Who do you think is tougher: King Abdullah or President Obama?” Fox News‘ asked its viewers.
Some USA media referred to king Abdullah as a badass, which is an American slang for a tough uncompromising guy you don’t want to mess with.
By contrast President Obama was ridiculed on twitter for being too soft on Assad and ISIS.
Meanwhile the United Arab Emirates announced last week it is stationing a squadron of F-16 fighter jets in Jordan to help in the country’s fight against jihadist terror group ISIS. A UAE diplomatic source and the official government news agency also said that its own combat operations in the U.S.-led coalition will resume “very soon.”
Analysts in the Middle East think that the Jordanian government will most probably begin cracking down further on any ISIS’s supporters inside the country. According to Jordan newspapers the public are incensed by the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood to condemn ISIS and call it a terrorist organization and to call Muath al-Kasasbeh a martyr.
It is true that without Syrian and Iranian collusion ISIS couldn’t have lasted this long. It has lost in Kobane, and lost many villages in North Iraq and is now retreating.
By murdering the Jordanian pilot, ISIS overplayed its hand. Now it is payback time.
The Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kasesbeh, comes from a prominent family and tribe. The Arab Muslim honour code requires blood vengeance, an “an eye for an eye”.
Jordan response was swift. Media outlets reported Wednesday 4thd February that in a first response to the killing of the pilot, Jordan executed Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouly, two Iraqis linked to al-Qaeda, government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said. For couple of weeks prior to the execution, Jordan had offered to trade al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber, for the pilot, but froze any swap after failing to receive any proof that the pilot was still alive. Jordanian TV said the pilot was killed as long ago as Jan. 3.
It is worth noting that Al-Rishawi had been sentenced to death after her 2005 role in a triple hotel bombing that killed 60 people in Amman orchestrated by al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of the Islamic State group. Al-Karbouly was an al Qaeda operative was sent to death row in 2008 for plotting terror attacks on Jordanians in Iraq.
Muslim clerics in the region may never have sounded as condemning as they now do. Egypt’s leading Sunni Muslim authority, al-Azhar University, described ISIS as a “Satanic, terrorist group” However, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, said the “killers deserved to be ‘killed, crucified, or to have their limbs amputated.”
A Saudi Cleric insisted that “burning is rejected by Islamic law…only God tortures by fire
Writing in the Sunday Times, James Rubin former assistant secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, said:
King Abdullah of Jordan is leading the way. ISIS the king vows will pay a heavy price for the torture and ritual killing of the captured Jordanian pilot Jordan has gone from being a participant to being a leader”.
Jordan has given the West a chance to beat the jihadists: we must take it Rubin asserted.