Jordan unleashes wrath on Islamic State

Feb 06, 2015, 4:32 AM EST
Youths in Jordan protest killing of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh.
AFP/Getty Images

Jordanian air strikes on Islamic State targets are "the beginning of our retaliation" for the killing of a captured Jordanian pilot, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh has said.

He told CNN that Jordan was going after IS "with everything that we have".

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

This comes after IS released a video showing Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh 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.

Al Jazeera said it has also learned from sources in the Iraqi border police of Anbar province, in western Iraq, that Jordanian troops have moved closer towards the Iraqi border, near the Rowaished area opposite the Iraqi city of Trebil.

The sources said the movement of a large number of troops was not unusual in the past, and that those forces have set up a camp there in the past. Jordan is part of a US-led military coalition which has bombed ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq, but until now Jordanian jets are only known to have carried out raids in Syria. 

ISIL controls a territory covering areas between Syria and Iraq. 

The execution of Kassasbeh, who was captured by ISIL when his F-16 jet went down in Syria in December, has prompted anger in Jordan and boosted support for military action against the group.

"Jordan's resolve has been stiffened by this tragic murder," Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh, reporting from Karak, said.