02/06/2015, 00.00
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Amman launches Operation "Martyr Moaz" against Islamic State

Air raids on IS positions in Deir al-Zor and Raqqa, Syria. Jordan joins in fighting jihadists. Condolences of King Abdullah to the family of the pilot burned alive. The pain of the king for "Christians and minorities" under attack in the Middle East. IS threaten Muslim communities, but also the entire world. Islamophobia "plays into the hands" of the terrorists.

Amman (AsiaNews) - Jordan has announced that it has carried out several air raids bombing Islamic State positions in response to the execution of one of its Airforce pilots, burned alive by the jihadist group.

The operation, called "Martyr Moaz" after the F16 pilot captured and burned alive by the IS, hit "training camps, arms and ammunition depots". The operation will continue until "the eradication" of the IS.

The official did not specify the places affected. But some witnesses say they heard King Abdallah notify the man's father that the raid took place in the area of Raqqa, Syria. Security sources said the raids hit targets in the province of Deir al-Zor and Raqqa.

Yesterday, the king went to Karak, 120km from Amman to personally express his condolences to the family of Moaz al Kassasbeh, whom he received in a large tent erected for the occasion (See Photo).

The atrocious manner of the pilot's killing has served to coalesce Jordanian society, garner popular support for and give legitimacy to the Kingdom's participation in the anti-jihadist fight. Today demonstrations of solidarity for the man's family will be held and also to demand merciless vengeance for IS militants.

As soon as the news and the gruesome video of the Kassasbeh execution spread, King Abdullah said that "the response of Jordan and his army will be severe."

Two days ago, the king cut short his visit to the United States, where he was also to participate yesterday in a meeting with religious and world leaders in Washington. In his absence, the Jordanian ambassador Alia Bouran read his speech.

In it Abdallah says that the war waged by the terrorists of the Islamic State has the primary objective to target the Muslim community in the Middle East, to later expand to the whole world. "These criminals aim to stamp out life and rights everywhere. Their hate and murder has reached Asia, Europe, Africa, America and Australia. By the brutal killing of their prisoners and captives, they seek to hold families across the world hostage to their cruelty".

After thanking Pope Francis for his visit to the Holy Land and his condemnation of the abuse of the name of God in the exercise of violence, Abdallah claims for his family and for the Middle East, the presence of an Islam that teaches a tradition of "service, moral courage, justice, and brotherhood". With "pain and outrage," he recalls the attacks against Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, many of which are accepted as refugees in Jordan itself.

"This - he added - is an offense against humanity as well as Islam. Arab Christians are an integral part of our region's past, present and future".

The King noted that today all over the Islamic world "... men and women are putting themselves on the line to fight hatred, injustice, sectarianism, sedition (fitnah) and cruelty. They are working for development, inclusion, human rights, opportunities for women and youth, healthy children, and global welfare. They are teaching young people the truth about our faith, and giving them the tools they need for positive lives".

He also warned against a blind Islamophobia: "[it is an evil and a danger not only to Muslims, but to all people. It plays right into the hands of murderers and thugs and undermines unity when our world needs it most".


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