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Jordan's Military Conducts Airstrikes Against Islamic State Targets

Jordanian Soldiers mourn Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh in the city of Karak, Jordan, on Wednesday.
Mohammad Abu Ghosh
Jordanian Soldiers mourn Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh in the city of Karak, Jordan, on Wednesday.

Jordan's military conducted airstrikes against the self-described Islamic State militant group in both Syria and Iraq Thursday, a day after vowing revenge for the killing by the organization of a Jordanian pilot. The country, which is part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, delivered the news in a statement from its military.

NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is in the Jordanian capital, Amman, tells our Newscast unit: "Public concerns about Jordan's participation in the anti-ISIS coalition subsided amid national outrage at a video showing the burning of the captured Jordanian pilot. Rumors even circulated that the king himself, a former pilot, would fly a mission, though military experts say that's highly unlikely."

ISIS — short for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — is another name for the Islamic State. It is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

The Jordanian airstrikes came as King Abdullah heads to southern Jordan to pay condolences to the family of the slain pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh. Abdullah has vowed to wage a "harsh" war against the militants after they released a video this week that showed Kaseasbeh being burned alive.

Jordan executed al-Qaida-linked militants in the wake of the video's release.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.