Jordan on Friday said air strikes against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group are only the start of its retaliation for the burning alive of air force pilot Muath Kasasbeh, vowing to “eradicate” the extremists.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told CNN late last week that Jordan will go after IS wherever it is and with full force, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. “But it’s not the beginning of our fight against terrorism and extremism,” Judeh added, according to Agence France-Presse.
The gruesome murder of pilot Muath Kasasbeh, captured by IS in December after his F-16 crashed in Syria, has sparked grief and deep anger in Jordan. Judeh declined to reveal Jordan’s military plans but said the Kingdom would hit the militants with all its might.
“We’re upping the ante. We’re going after them wherever they are, with everything that we have. But it’s not the beginning and it’s certainly not the end,” he said. “We’re going to go after them and we will eradicate them... We are at the forefront. This is our fight,”
AFP quoted the foreign minister as saying. Regarding the Kingdom’s preparedness to launch a ground assault on IS, Judeh said there are many factors to consider, Petra reported.
He cited the current military approach and Jordan’s mission in guaranteeing the region’s safety, in addition to the long-term strategies which include countering IS ideologies as some of these factors, Petra reported.
Judeh said there was an attempt to rescue Kasasbeh when he was first captured, but he did not elaborate.