Isis capabilities degraded by '20 per cent' after Jordan steps up air strikes against group

Jordanian General Mansour al-Jbour said 56 air strikes were carried out within three days against militants in Syria to avenge hostage pilot’s death

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The Independent Online

Air strikes have degraded Isis’ capabilities by 20 per cent after bombing efforts against the group were recently intensified, the head of the Jordanian airforce has claimed.

General Mansour al-Jbour said strikes had reduced the extremist group’s military capabilities during a press conference on Sunday.

Jordan has carried out nearly a fifth of the sorties of the US-led coalition against Isis in Syria to date, according to al-Jbour. It conducted 56 bombing raids against militants in northeast Syria within three days after the brutal killing of one of its pilots, First Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh.

A still image posted by the Islamic state Raqqa branch on jihadist forums shows a heavily damaged building in Raqa after it was allegedly targeted by a US-led coalition air strike

Al-Kaseasbeh was captured by militants in December and burned alive in a cage in January. A film showing his barbaric death later emerged online.

“We achieved what we were looking for: revenge for Muath," the general said. "And this is not the end. This is the beginning.

“We are determined to wipe them from the face of the Earth.”

The main aims of the bombing would continue to be to trying to hit Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to stop the group's illicit oil trade, and to destroying their training bases, garrisons and command centres.

Al-Kaseasbeh’s death was so brutal that even one of Isis’ own clerics objected to it, who was then arrested for speaking out against it.

Additional reporting by Reuters