News / Middle East

    Jordan Hits Islamic State With 3rd Day of Airstrikes

    In this image from undated video provided by the Jordanian military via Jordan TV, explosions go off during airstrikes at an undisclosed location in Syria.
    In this image from undated video provided by the Jordanian military via Jordan TV, explosions go off during airstrikes at an undisclosed location in Syria.
    VOA News

    Jordanian fighter jets struck Islamic State targets for a third straight day Saturday, as the militants' claim that a Jordanian airstrike killed an American hostage remained unconfirmed.

    Jordan launched the raids to avenge the killing of a Jordanian pilot the Islamic State group captured in Syria in December.

    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.

    Kayla Mueller's family released a statement Friday, saying they remained hopeful she still is alive. Carl and Marsha Mueller asked the captors of their 26-year-old daughter to "respond to us privately.”  

    Their response came after the White House on Friday said it had seen no evidence to corroborate the militants' claim of her death.

    Skepticism over the claim comes after Jordanian authorities said fighter pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh was killed in early January, a month before the Islamic State released a video showing his death.

    Demonstrators protesting the death of slain Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseabeh chant anti-Islamic State slogans during a rally Friday in Amman, Jordan.Demonstrators protesting the death of slain Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseabeh chant anti-Islamic State slogans during a rally Friday in Amman, Jordan.
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    Demonstrators protesting the death of slain Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseabeh chant anti-Islamic State slogans during a rally Friday in Amman, Jordan.
    Demonstrators protesting the death of slain Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseabeh chant anti-Islamic State slogans during a rally Friday in Amman, Jordan.

    Mueller is the last remaining U.S. hostage known to be in the hands of the Islamic State group. Three other Americans held by the militants were beheaded.

    Jordanian officials called Islamic State's report of Mueller's death "criminal propaganda." Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said on Twitter that it is "an old and sick trick used by terrorists and despots for decades — claiming that hostage human shields held captive are killed by air raids."

    Mueller reportedly moved by suffering

    Those who know Mueller say she was deeply moved by the suffering of civilians stuck in poverty and caught up in war and terrorism. She had worked in Syria and volunteered with aid groups in the West Bank and India. Militants kidnapped her in 2013 as she was leaving a hospital in Aleppo.

    The Islamic State said she was killed when a Jordanian airstrike hit the building where she was being held in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

    Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah has vowed an "earth-shaking," open-ended response to Kaseasbeh's killing.

    An Islamic State video posted online Tuesday showed the pilot locked in a cage, soaked with gasoline and burned alive while armed fighters watched.

    Demonstration in Amman

    Thousands of people flooded the streets of Amman Friday in support of Kaseasbeh. The demonstrators marched through the Jordanian capital after Friday prayers, waving flags and chanting slogans against the militants. Jordan's Queen Rania joined the marchers and held up a picture of the murdered pilot.

    Jordan said its recent airstrikes against Islamic State targets are only the beginning of its retaliation for the killing.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 3
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    by: Lou from: Atlanta
    February 09, 2015 10:03 AM
    Kayla is probably still alive. Even thugs need playthings.
    In Response

    by: Long
    February 10, 2015 3:37 PM
    glad you know something we all don't.

    by: heidi vainio from: Canada
    February 09, 2015 3:10 AM
    This ISIL..or whatever it has changed it's name to be must be shamed...drop pig blood soiled bombs..or attach pigs to the bombs....and this needs to be a concerted effort by any Muslim country that wants to be left standing when this is all over...a hard choice must be made...it is a choice between the lives of peace practicing Muslims vs.the lives of jihadist murdering criminals..who will you let live..?????.

    by: Maher from: Perth Aust
    February 08, 2015 4:25 PM
    muslims killing Muslims is just crazy and if you believe in Islam its a great sin. Why don't Jordain use its airforce and bomb ASSad. How gutless are these arab States standing by watching a madman destroy his own country and spreading sectarian hatred throughout the mideast. Arabs should stop pretending Shia people airn't hostile cause when they get the capability they will go to war on Sunni Arabs and seize the Mideast.
    In Response

    by: Steve
    February 09, 2015 12:57 PM
    Lol, here comes western hyperbole. I love how his western countries who are guilty of human right abuses, war crimes and aggression seems to be given a clean sheet. Lol, biased as usual.
    In Response

    by: Single&Successfull from: Canada
    February 09, 2015 12:29 PM
    Maher,
    Assad is a dictator,...try and run against him, and you are either, jailed, expelled , or dead. No wonder he (lol) "wins" , giggle,chuckle....every election. When he wins in a free election against real electoral opponents.....then the west should back off him and give him, under those circumstances , the respect he deserves. right now , I would guess that 35% of Assads problems, are instigated by and maintained by the USA,via CIA.
    ISIS must be annihilated.
    HOORAH ! For Jordan, and God bless them.

    by: jayne purzner from: las vegas
    February 08, 2015 4:06 PM
    I am sorry for the pilot for a unspeakable act of cruelty however as I write this hundreds of men, women and children are also being crucified, hanged, limbs torn off, thrown off buildings and children sold as sex slaves every day and we sit here discussing what needs to be done!!! In years to come history will remind us that we all sat by while whole societies were destroyed. But it doesnt bother us cause their not here so who cares!!! Really america

    by: Jerry from: fl
    February 08, 2015 2:54 PM
    Jordon should capture every lsls member and burn them alive n eye 4 n eye

    by: Tumbleweed from: USA
    February 08, 2015 2:51 PM
    After what happened to your Pilot I give my condolences to the Family, Friends and fellow Pilots. I wish all the Pilots and crews safe flying and most of all good hunting! I'm sure they have the best spys on the ground anyone could wish for to wipe this scum off the face of the earth.

    by: Mohammad from: Australia
    February 08, 2015 7:48 AM
    My deepest condolences to the family of the Jordinian pilot. ISIS is an abomination that must be wiped out from the face of the earth.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 08, 2015 6:34 PM
    THINK ABOUT IT?.... Was the Qadi decision on how the Jordanian pilot was killed, predicated on how the Jordanian pilot killed Muslims with his warplane missiles and bombs, blowing them to bits and setting them on fire?.... [a decision by a Qadi is final and irrevocable].... [and how he arrives at his decision is entirely his to make?].... [a Qaeda is a legally accepted judge under Islamic Sharia Law].... [and so are his decisions].

    by: Gary in USA from: USA, FL
    February 08, 2015 7:45 AM
    In WW II (the last time wars were fought to be decisively won), very hard decisions needed to be made to defeat powerful enemies. Entire cities were eradicated (as the Axis forces also attempted to do to the Allies). Those with the courage to do so, should drop leaflets on Raqqa and notify the civilians they have 72 hours to evacuate the city. Then the entire city must be reduced to rubble. Don't leave a stone upon a stone. If this part of the world wants to live according to the rules of the Old Testament, I say, let them go all the way.
    In Response

    by: Gerry
    February 08, 2015 2:51 PM
    With reasons like above, it makes wonder if US is any better than IS. This would be considered war crimes and deleberates disregard to civilians, the objective here is to protect civilians not kill them. With stupid, moronic reasons like above, I do question the maturity of the so called free country of the world. It seems few shades worse than even ISIL!
    In Response

    by: PSWWIIHistorian from: Boston, MA
    February 08, 2015 1:52 PM
    While destruction of Raqqa may or may not be useful in this fight, I dispute JeffT's revisionist assertion that "Carpet bombing cities had little effect on the outcome of WWII." Bombing of German cities did have a substantial impact on the war, although in ways that were not predicted by the Allies who sought to undermine civilian morale, which is very difficult to achieve in a totalitarian state. What the bombing did do is to force military industries to go underground (at huge cost, especially to slave laborers), make transport far more difficult, force withdrawal of fighter aircraft from active fronts to defend cities, transfer production from offensive armor and naval weapons to fighters and anti-aircraft guns. This certainly shortened the war in both Europe and Japan. With smart weapons, it is possible to do more damage with a single plane or cruise missile than with 1000 B-24s or B-17s. One can hit military targets with greater ease and can leave civilians largely untouched.
    In Response

    by: Jeffery Handrew from: SA
    February 08, 2015 12:59 PM
    the maturity of some comments and the fact all comments seem quiet delusional of political science is amazing. Decisions like this make question your moral integrity. The idea of killing people and destroying vital infrastructure makes fighting IS pointless. They have lives with IS, then being dead. I guess this is reflection of your barbaric country that does not have shred of morality and morally bankrupt that it willing committing atrocities serves it petty vengence and dislike. Shameful indeed.
    In Response

    by: Jeff morton from: Hawaii
    February 08, 2015 8:54 AM
    I agree that in the midst of these evils innocents must be killed to succeed. But at the time of the Old Testament there was not the military sophistication that could reduce the casualties to innocent women and children without compromising the mission. It was necessary to the times and is the only reason why God who is just would command such a treacherous act. This should give pause and make people realize that while the OT God on surface appears evil, but if it was ultimately for the saving of many generations to come, this was necessary as it is necessary to hit "Daesh" with shock and awe. God is merciful and just, but a time comes when justness negates mercy and inaction becomes unjust. But carpet bombs and napalm not nukes. If anybody drops another nuke, you can be sure the end of life as we know it, will come not soon after.
    In Response

    by: Jeff T from: Atlanta US
    February 08, 2015 8:48 AM
    You've made a few mistakes.

    Carpet bombing cities had little effect on the outcome of WWII. The people had little choice but to hunker down and carry on. Cities reduced to rubble are just as defensible. What good did it do to bomb Dresden and Monte Casino?

    Also note that citizens of ar Raqqar as well as Mosul are not at liberty to move freely. In particular, women under 40 can go nowhere. There are checkpoints. For many, it is not their choice to live in the Islamic State.

    Finally, fighting cruelty with cruelty is not who we are.

    by: dddphilosophy from: Allyn WA USA
    February 08, 2015 4:42 AM
    The mere fact that Jordan has so many immediate ISIS targets available to them to bomb that the US and its allies were not targeting, proves the West is playing tiddlywinks rather than doing any serious war on ISIS.
    In Response

    by: Ray from: us
    February 08, 2015 3:17 PM
    Then enlighten us with how much you know.
    In Response

    by: Terence Clark from: Madison WI USA
    February 08, 2015 3:07 PM
    So I suppose because the US had targets to bomb and raid in Germany in WWII that the Allies had, up to that point, been playing tiddy winks? Bombing raids don't deal with a short list of a few dozen targets you can hit over a few weeks and be done. It's an ongoing, drawn out campaign with no shortage of targets to hit and more coming every day as intelligence mounts. You haven't the faintest clue how war works if you think we'd just run out of targets if we'd just bomb more.
    In Response

    by: bob from: murica
    February 08, 2015 8:35 AM
    Lol that shows how little you know..

    by: Des from: Africa
    February 08, 2015 2:44 AM
    I have absolutely no hesitation in agreeing that the barbaric ISIS movement needs to be brought to an end. But Terry has a point, although possibly misguided. ISIS appeared on the world scene very suddenly. Who is funding them? Who is arming them? I also have a strong sense that, at the highest global leadership levels, someone is orchestrating this, either to precipitate a war in the Middle East or to justify military intervention in Syria for their own agenda. I have my suspicion as to whom it might be. It is horrifying to think what world leadership at this level is capable of doing to ordinary, eveyday people to achieve their own expedience. But for now, yes, Go Jordan - don't stop until there is no longer an ISIS worth mentioning and also don't stop if you uncover who is behind it all - expose them too.
    In Response

    by: Jeffery Winters
    February 08, 2015 4:32 PM
    Is that lie US is saying, it was Iraq's fault. Funny, how did they get military training and large amount of military arms from a small military cache in Iraq? Doesn't seem probable. Funny, enough this group has many military arm struggling? Again seem far fetched. Nice lying to divert the fact FSA is ISIL.
    In Response

    by: Terence Clark from: Madison WI USA
    February 08, 2015 3:10 PM
    Boy, wouldn't it be nice if the world really worked that way? That there was just one or a small handfull of puppet masters that, once killed or publicly outed, could be stopped? Sadly, life ain't that easy. I know you think you have your finger on some great conspiracy, but really you just have a lazy, simplistic view of geopolitics.
    In Response

    by: ppbjno1 from: Delaware
    February 08, 2015 1:44 PM
    Sen. Lindsey Graham mentioned that ISIS is trading oil for weapons with the Syrian Assad regime. This is not hard to believe.
    In Response

    by: Jeff in Atlanta from: US
    February 08, 2015 9:13 AM
    Who is arming them?

    It was the US. Most of their heavy weapons, armor and humvees came from weapons we supplied to Iraq and that Iraqi forces abandoned when they bugged out.

    AK47s and such are ubiquitous in that area, it is the heavier weapons that make a difference. And there is no easy way for ISIS to get more.

    Whittling away at them, as they make excellent targets is the right path.
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