AMMAN, Jordan (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) — Jordan’s king vowed Thursday to wage a “harsh” war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after the militants burned a captive Jordanian pilot in a cage and released a video of the killing.
The images have sent waves of revulsion across the region.
King Abdullah II consulted with military chiefs Wednesday, after cutting short a U.S. trip, to formulate a response. Jordan is part of a U.S.-led military alliance that has been bombing ISIS targets in Syria for nearly five months.
In a statement, the king said Jordan was waging a war of principles against the militants. He said Jordan’s response to the killing of the pilot “will be harsh because this terrorist organization is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values.”
Abdullah pledged to hit the militants “hard in the very center of their strongholds.”
Jordanian officials have not presented details of their response, but said they would be working closely with their allies in the anti-ISIS coalition.
In Washington, leading members of Congress have called for increased U.S. military assistance to the kingdom. Currently, the United States is providing Jordan with $1 billion annually in economic and military assistance.
CBS News’ Charlie D’Agata reports that, in spite of the fact that they had no body to bury, Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh’s family held a funeral for him Wednesday night. His brother Jawad called on “all world powers to destroy and eliminate this renegade group that has no humanity.”
Government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani confirmed to CBS News that Jordan’s military would be stepping up its campaign.
Al-Momani told D’Agata that ISIS was a “true evil. It’s an eminent threat to the security of the country and therefore we need to stand and fight it and we need to defeat it.”
The fight against ISIS had been a hard sell to Jordanians, many of whom were critical of joining a U.S.-led military offensive waged in two countries right along their border. But political analyst Dr. Amer al-Sabaileh in Amman told D’Agata that changed when the militants posted the gruesome video of al-Kasaesbeh’s murder online.
“Many were shocked from the level of brutality, many were shocked by seeing their Jordanian pilot being burned in this way,” said al-Sabaileh.
“It backfired,” he said of the militant group’s decision to post the video.
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