Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh
Moaz al-Kasasbeh beside his jet fighter
Captured by ISIS
A battered prisoner
Moaz al-Kasasbeh awaiting his fate in a cage
Setting fire to a trail of gasoline
Doused in gasoline, he covers his face
Flames are seen quickly spreading across the dirt to the cage, where they completely engulf the helpless pilot in images that are extremely distressing, but at the same time, should be viewed to demonstrate the unconscionable atrocities being committed by ISIS. And hopefully stir the coalition to immediate retaliatory action.
The release of the expertly-edited video - which represents a new level of barbarity from a group notorious for its savagery - has prompted Jordan to announce it would execute all six prisoners convicted of association with ISIS at dawn today. Within an hour of the 22-minute-long video's publication, Jordan reportedly moved ISIS-linked prisoners to a jail in the south of the country which is usually used for state executions. It is understood that will include the execution of Sajida al-Rishawi, the female militant whom ISIS had originally demanded Jordan release in exchange for Kasasbeh.
Last night Jordanian officials told the 26 year-old pilot’s devastated family they believed the footage to be genuine and the man, branded a ‘hero’at home was dead. The video was the first time the pilot had been seen since he was captured in December by triumphant ISIS fighters when his F-16 jet crashed near the group’s Syrian headquarters of Raqqa during a US-Coalition led airstrike.
Mamdouh al-Ameri, spokesman for the Jordanian armed forces, confirmed the pilot's death and vowed revenge, hours after the video was released. In a televised address, he said: 'While the military forces mourn the martyr, they emphasize his blood will not be shed in vain. The revenge will be as big as the calamity that has hit Jordan.'
King Abdullah II, speaking during his U.S visit in Washington, also made a statement on Jordanian TV, saying he had received news of the 'martyrdom with sadness and deep sorrow'. Calling the murder a 'cowardly act of terror', he also pleaded for his countrymen to stand 'side-by-side', vowing that Kasasbeh's death 'would only make us stronger'.
Last night, King Abdullah arrived at the White House for a hastily-arranged meeting with President Obama, following the news of the barbaric murder.
President Obama said earlier that if the video turns out to be authentic, it would be more evidence of the group's 'viciousness and barbarity. He added that the U.S. would 'redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of our global coalition to make sure they are degraded and ultimately defeated,' adding that the footage serves to indicate that 'whatever ideology they are operating out of is bankrupt.'
Somehow, I don't think 'bankrupt ideology' is a strong enough term. Maybe the coalition should be taking action as in: 'extermination', 'annihilation' and 'wiping them off the face of the earth'.