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Pilot’s Burning Death a Turning Point for Jordan

By Chris Mitchell

CBN News, AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan continues its air campaign against ISIS following the brutal murder of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a pilot who has become a national hero and whose death, a rallying cry.

You don’t have to go far in the capital of Jordan without seeing a poster of the man burned alive by ISIS. Al-Kaseasbeh’s horrific death changed the course of this nation.

Before the murder, many Jordanians were unsure if they should be involved in the coalition against ISIS. But after the horrific killing, public opinion changed dramatically.

“Jordan, everything has changed and people are united, more united and more insist to eliminate this kind of cancer,” a man on the street told CBN News. “All of us, we are feeling very sad and very bad. We are all one community and Muath was one of us.”

Jordanian analyst Oraib al-Rantawi, director of the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, calls the death a turning point.

“Before that [killing], the government use to have some problems to convince the Jordanian people that the war against ISIS was our war,” he told CBN News.

While the public rallies around King Abdullah II, Rantawi said the country’s involvement against ISIS will increase, but only to a point.

“More air strikes, yes; more intelligence and security operations, yes; maybe some special forces for some surgeries here and there, yes,” he said. “But large ground troops in Syria or Iraq in big numbers, I think it needs different conditions.”

Those conditions would include other Middle East nations like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States joining Jordan in the fight.

“By creating a serious military forces and deploy them in Iraq, Jordan will be part of this. But to go alone or with a few countries, I don’t think Jordan will do it,” he said.

Until such a coalition comes about, Jordan’s air campaign continues and according to a Jordanian general, it’s making progress.

“IS has lost 20 percent of its capabilities and more than 7,000 of their criminal fighters have been killed,” Gen. Mansour al-Jabour, chief of the Jordanian Royal Air Force, said.

Many here in Jordan still look to the United States for leadership, but as one man told CBN News, in the fight against ISIS, which he calls “Daesh,” the United States is in the wrong position.

“Leading from behind is not good. No more. It’s not good to be leading from behind. You must be leading from the front,” he said. “To lead people, to finish Daesh [ISIS], I don’t believe leading from behind is good.”

Report via CBN News


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