Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh appeared on CNN on Thursday and promised that the assaults from Jordan on ISIS were “just the beginning.” Referring to the gruesome murder of Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh, who was burned alive by ISIS, government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani told CNN that Jordan’s reaction “will be strong and will be decisive. We will not let this crime of killing our pilots with the horrific way it was done pass without punishment. These people will be punished.” The armed forces released a statement on state-run TV saying, “This is just the beginning and you shall know who the Jordanians are.”
An air mission titled “Moath the Martyr” struck ISIS training centers, arms and ammunition depots on Thursday morning.
Judeh told CNN, “It’s actually the beginning of our retaliation for this horrific and brutal murder of our brave young pilot, but it’s not the beginning of our fight against terrorism and extremism. We’ve been in this current effort for a good few weeks now, actually at the forefront of it, and we’ve been fighting terrorism and extremism for a number of years. So, yes, 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.”
Judeh later added:
If there was any doubt, by anyone, that these terrorists are brutal murderers, barbarians, then that doubt has gone. If there was any doubt that this is an organization that has anything to do with any religion on the face of this planet, that doubt is gone. If there is any doubt who the enemy is, we all know now very, very clearly, in the ugliest possible way, who this enemy is, and we’re going to go after them, and we will eradicate them.
When you want to effectively go after extremists and terrorists, you have to also assume that there is no border. So we’ve been attacking targets in both countries (Iraq and Syria) … when we say that this is a global war or third World War by other means, there are almost 80 nationalities, foreign fighters, fighting alongside this renegade group, and we’ve seen incidents in Australia, in Ottawa, and the horrific incidents in Paris, so, you know, this is a global war and it requires a global effort by the international community effectively and collectively.
Safi al-Kasasbeh, the father of the murdered pilot, was blunt about what he wanted after Jordan executed two prisoners, Sajida al-Rishawi, a suicide bomber wanted back by ISIS, and Ziad Karbouli, a former top aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who led al Qaeda in Iraq. He said, “These were criminals and there is no comparison between them and Moath. His blood is more valued than Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad Karbouli . . . I demand that this criminal organization (ISIS) … be annihilated.”