Monday 19 March 2018

Air strikes begin amid war pledge

Barack Obama met King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office of the White House (AP)
Barack Obama met King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office of the White House (AP)
Jordanians chant slogans to show their support for the government against terrorism (AP)

Jordanian fighter jets have carried out new air strikes, the military said, a day after the country's king vowed to wage a "harsh" war against Islamic State (IS) militants who control parts of neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

King Abdullah II pledged to step up the fight against IS after the militants burned a captive Jordanian pilot in a cage and released a video of the killing earlier this week.

The images have sent waves of revulsion across the region.

War planes roared overhead as the king paid a condolence visit to the family of the pilot, Lt Muath al-Kaseasbeh, in his village in southern Jordan.

The king pointed at the aircraft as he sat next to the victim's father.

Abdullah has said Jordan's response "will be harsh because this terrorist organisation is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values."

In a statement, he pledged to hit the militants "hard in the very centre of their strongholds".

The army statement did not say which country was targeted by the air strikes.

Jordan is part of a US-led military coalition which has bombed IS targets since last autumn, but until now Jordanian war planes were only known to have carried out raids in Syria.

In Washington, leading members of US Congress have called for increased US military assistance to the kingdom.

Currently, the US is providing Jordan with one billion dollars (£658 million) annually in economic and military assistance.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News