Jordan Airstrikes on IS ‘Just the beginning’

Jordan Airstrikes on IS ‘Just the beginning’Jordan Airstrikes on IS ‘Just the beginning’

Jordan’s airstrikes on Islamic State targets on Thursday are “the beginning of our retaliation” for the killing of a captured Jordanian pilot, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said in a televised interview.

He said “We are going to take this all the way, we are going to go after them wherever they are and we’re doing that.”

Jordan had previously only bombed IS sites in Syria, but Judeh said it was now also targeting IS in Iraq, BBC reported.

This comes after IS released a video showing Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive in a cage.

After Thursday’s strikes, Jordanian war planes flew over Lt Kasasbeh’s home village. Their flight coincided with a visit to the village by Jordanian King Abdullah II, who was meeting the pilot’s family. The king has vowed to step up the fight against IS. Jordan is part of a US-led coalition bombing the militants.

Also on Thursday, Jordan released from jail a key figure and former al-Qaeda mentor arrested in October for allegedly propagating “terrorist” ideas, a judicial source said.

The decision to free Issam Barqawi, who was once mentor to slain al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was taken by the head of the state security court, a military tribunal. He ruled against a decision by the state prosecutor to put Barqawi on trial and ordered “his immediate release,” the source said.

The source gave no reasons for the decision, which comes a day after Jordan executed two Iraqi al-Qaeda-linked militants in response to the burning alive of its pilot.