Dozens of Jordanian fighter jets have launched bombing raids on Isis targets, hitting what are believed to have been training centres and weapons caches, two days after the militants released footage showing the burning alive of a downed Jordanian pilot.
Video footage released by the Jordanian military showed some of the strikes, including one that set off a fire ball. Elsewhere pilots could be seen chalking messages on their missiles, including one that read: “For you, the enemies of Islam.”
A statement read on Jordanian state television declared: “This the beginning and you will get to know the Jordanians.”
Reports said that as the planes flew back to Jordan from Isis-held territory in Syria, they flew over the village of slain pilot Lt Muath al-Kaseasbeh. The fly-over coincided with a visit to the airman’s relatives by Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
As he sat with the pilot’s father, Safi al-Kaseasbeh, the king pointed to the planes roaring overhead, the Associated Press said. Mr Kaseasbeh told mourners that the planes had struck targets in Raqqa, Isis’s de facto capital and the site the where his son was captured by fighters when his F-16 fighter plane went down in December.
Earlier this week, Isis released another video that showed some people in Raqqa chanting “God is great” as they watched footage of the Jordanian pilot being burned alive.
Mr Kaseasbeh told CNN that the King had told him that 30 Jordanian fighter jets participated in the strikes.
In pictures: Anti-Isis protests in Jordan
In pictures: Anti-Isis protests in Jordan
1/15 Amman, Jordan
Members of Jordan's Al Assaf tribe burn a ''Wanted Dead'' poster of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi at a rally
2/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanian protesters carry an effigy of leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, during a march after Friday prayers in downtown Amman
3/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanian Queen Rania (C) holds a placard during a demonstration to express solidarity with the pilot murdered by the Islamic State
4/15 Amman, Jordan
A protester dressed in a Jordanian flag joins others as they hold up pictures of Jordanian King Abdullah and Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, while chanting slogans during a march against Islamic State
5/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanians hold banners shouting slogans during a demonstration to express their solidarity with the pilot murdered by the Islamic State
6/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanians carry banners and pictures of executed Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kassasbeh while shouting slogans against the group calling themselves the Islamic State, during a march after noon pray in downtown Amman
7/15 Amman, Jordan
Protesters hold up pictures of Jordan's King Abdullah and pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh as they chant slogans during a rally in Amman to show their loyalty to the King and against the Islamic State
8/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanians chant slogans to show their support for the government against terror during a rally
9/15 Amman, Jordan
Jawdat al-Kaseasbeh, a brother of slain Jordanians pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh, reacts to people gathering to show their support for the government against terror during a rally
10/15 Amman, Jordan
A Jordanian protester kisses a poster bearing the image of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh during a rally to show their loyalty to King Abdullah and against the Islamic State
11/15 Amman, Jordan
A Jordanian shouts slogans during a rally against the Islamic state group and in reaction to the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh by the group's militants
12/15 Amman, Jordan
Jordanians carry pictures of pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh at a protest against Islamic State
13/15 Amman, Jordan
Supporters and family members of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh express their anger at his murder at the tribal gathering chamber in Amman, Jordan
14/15 Aye Village, Karak, Jordan
The King of Jordan, Abdullah II (L), embracing Safi al-Kassasbeh (R), the father of the recently executed Jordanian pilot
15/15 Aye Village, Karak, Jordan
Jordan's Queen Rania offers her condolences to the family of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, at their family home of Muath
REUTERS/Petra News Agency
“The homeland is entrusted to you all,” Mr Kaseasbeh said, in a reference to Jordan’s armed forces. “For you troops to honour Muath is to uphold your oath and to follow in his footsteps as soldiers for God, his prophet and Islam in defending this dear homeland.“
Jordan said in September it was joining the US-led coalition against Isis, along with Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, the US military said the coalition had launched nine nine air strikes in Iraq and three in Syria against Isis targets since Wednesday. The so-called Combined Joint Task Force said the strikes in Syria hit near Kobani, the border city recently recaptured by Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic militant group.
The strikes in Iraq were concentrated in the oil-producing north, targeting militants near seven cities including Kirkuk, Falluja, Mosul and Baiji, the task force said in a statement.
Also on Thursday, the Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, said he believed Mr Obama to seek congressional authorisation for using military force against Isis soon and also called for speeding up assistance to Jordan.
“It is also going to be incumbent upon the president to go out there and make the case to the American people,” he said, according to Reuters.Reuse content