Jordan launches 56 airstrikes on ISIS for hostage death
JORDAN says it has launched 56 airstrikes on ISIS targets in just three days in retaliation for the murder of a Jordanian pilot who was burnt alive.
Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh, whose plane was shot down over Isis held territory, was set ablaze by fanatics while he was trapped in a cage.
The horrific scenes were captured on film and uploaded to the internet on Tuesday.
The footage, widely seen in Jordan, prompted a furious backlash against ISIS and the country's king, Abdullah II, promised a robust response to the barbaric murder.
Interior minister, Hussein al-Majali, promised to track down ISIS militants, "eliminate them and wipe them out completely".
Over the past three days the Jordanian air force has attacked and destroyed 56 ISIS targets including training centres, military barracks, warehouses and weapons depots, according to the head of the air force, Major General Mansour al-Jabour.
"We achieved what we were looking for: revenge for Muath," the general said.
"And this is not the end. This is the beginning."
The US air force and several Arab allies, including Jordan, have been carrying out airstrikes on ISIS in Syria since late September last year. While a campaign against insurgents in Iraq has been in existence for even longer.
Military strategists are aiming to push back the jihadist organisation, after it captured swathes of Iraq and Syria and established a "caliphate".
General al-Jabour said that coalition warplanes have flown on over 5,500 missions since the campaign against ISIS began, including 2,000 reconnaissance flights. He confirmed that Jordan had participated in almost 20 per cent of the airstrikes.
It is claimed, but unconfirmed, that Jordan is focusing its efforts on the town of Raqqa in Syria.
The general added that about 7,000 militants have been killed as a result of the coalition campaign.
Jordan had earlier offered to swap one of their ISIS prisoners for Lt al-Kaseasbeh, but after his murder authorities executed Sajida al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber, and an al-Qaeda member on Wednesday.