Jordan has promised an earth-shaking response to the killing of pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh by ISIL militants, as the fallout continues over the government’s handling of the hostage situation.
It began at dawn with the execution of two convicted jihadists: Sajida al-Rishawi, whose release had been demanded in exchange for Kasabeh’s life and al-Qaeda operative Ziyad Karboli.
The fate of the pilot, who was taken captive when his F-16 crashed in Syria, has gripped the nation for weeks.
King Abdullah has cut short a visit to the US, as he faces increasing criticism for joining the US-led mission against ISIL, though Kasasbeh’s death could draw Amman deeper into the conflict. Syria has now urged cooperation in the fight against Islamist groups operating in the country.
In the pilot’s hometown of Karak, his father called for a strong response.
“I consider Moaz a martyr to God, if God willing he is in heaven with the other martyrs and good people and prophets,” said Safi al-Kasasbeh. “My patience is a beautiful patience, and I ask for help from God and I ask the Jordanian government to take revenge for Moaz’s blood.” He added that ISIL must be annihilated.
To the town, Kasasbeh is a hero and many are saying that the hanging of two convicted terrorists will not be enough to avenge his death, raising the question over the next military steps for Jordan.