6 Feb 2015

Jordan ramps up air strikes and vows to ‘eradicate’ IS

Jordanian air strikes on Islamic State group targets are “just the beginning” of its retaliation to the burning of captured pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh.

Previously Jordan had only bombed IS targets in Syria, but its foreign minister says it is now also targeting IS in Iraq.

The air strikes come after IS released a video showing al-Kasasbeh being burned alive in a cage.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told CNN: “We are 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.

“We’re going to go after them and we will eradicate them… We are at the forefront. This is our fight.”

The bombings were timed to coincide with a visit by King Abdullah II to the pilot’s father, Safi al-Kasasbeh.

This is just the beginning and you shall know who the Jordanians are Jordanian armed forces statement

Footage of the fighter jets striking unspecified IS positions in Syria was shown in Jordanian TV.

State TV claimed air strikes hit IS training centres, arms and ammunition depots: “All targets were completely destroyed and all the planes returned to their bases safely.”

Jordan is one of a handful of countries in the middle east that have joined the US-led coalition against IS.

On Thursday US officials confirmed that the United Arab Emirates had suspended airstrikes against IS, and had not flown combat missions over Syria since December.

“I can confirm that UAE suspended air strikes shortly after the Jordanian pilot’s plane went down,” AFP quoted an unnamed US official as saying.

The US military said that the US-led coalition had conducted a total of nine air strikes on IS-targets in Iraq, and three on targets in Syria, between Wednesday and Thursday morning.