Wednesday, 20 September 2017
logo
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
        



dv-header-dday
     |      View our Twitter page at twitter.com/defenceredbox     |     

Jordan has deployed "thousands" of troops at its border with Iraq as it ramps up a campaign against DAESH (ISIS) militants - CNBC (10th Feb).

Jordan's King Abdullah has threatened to make DAESH* (ISIS/ISIL/IS) pay for the death of Muath al-Kasasbeh's after a video of the pilot's murder emerged. Troops were sent to prevent the infiltration of DAESH fighters into Jordan and as a show of force, according to Jordanian sources. Jordanian air stikes have been stepped up. It was also announced that some 2000 UK troops and an RAF spy plane were heading for Jordan to combat DAESH.


King Hussein and his son and successor King Abdullah II, have traditionally tolerated a broad political opposition, including the Islamic Action Front (IAF), Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood. Rather than outlawing them, the king allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to operate freely but within the law.¬¬¬¬¬†Now traditional Jordanian tolerance may finally be strained, precipitated by the murder on camera of a warrior from an important clan and their reaction to it.

Despite a massive show of national unity following the murder of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh by Daesh the country's Muslim Brotherhood has refused to join other Jordanians in standing against the terror group.


The arrest in November last year of former IAF secretary-general Zaki Bani Rushaid marks a sharp departure from previous policy. Following a decision by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, Rushaid attacked the Emirates' leadership on Facebook, calling them "the primary sponsor of terrorism" and "cancer cells in the body of the Arab nation." Using Jordan's newly-expanded terrorism law, authorities charged Rushaid with "harming the country's relations with a foreign state."¬¬¬¬¬†Instead, the Muslim Brotherhood's leader in Jordan, Sheikh Hammam called on the government to withdraw from the international coalition against DAESH.


At the same time, Jordanians have been furious with the Muslim Brotherhood for its failure to condemn the pilot's murder by DAESH and its refusal to declare him a martyr. Analysts in the Middle East think that the Jordanian government will probably begin cracking down further on DAESH's supporters inside the country.

King Abdullah's message to Al-Qaeda and DAESH was precise and clear: Don't Mess with Jordan.


DAESH the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ¬¬¬¬¬†group has lost 20 percent of its military capabilities since the start of U.S. led coalition air strikes in September. Jordan had carried out 56 air strikes in three days on Islamic State logistics sites and hideouts. General Mansour Al-Jbour, head of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, said in a press conference on Sunday 8th February.


Jordan had carried out nearly 20 percent of the total sorties conducted by the U.S. led coalition against DAESH ¬¬¬¬¬†in Syria to date, Jbour said - adding that they had been careful not to hit any civilians. "We are determined to wipe them from the face of the Earth.


Al-Kasasbeh's F-16 fighter aircraft crashed near Raqqa, Syria, on 24 December 2014. United States and Jordanian officials said that the crash was caused by mechanical problems, while the Islamic State claimed that the plane was hit by a heat-seeking missile.
DAESH held al-Kasasbeh captive before murdering him in early January 2015. It then conducted negotiations with the Jordanian government, claiming it would spare al-Kasabeh's life and free Japanese journalist Kenji Goto in exchange for Sajida al-Rishawi, a convicted failed-suicide-bomber terrorist being held in Jordan under a death sentence. It is worth noting that Al-Rishawi had been sentenced to death after her 2005 role in a triple hotel bombing that killed 60 people in Amman orchestrated by al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of the Islamic State group. Al-Karbouly was an al Qaeda operative was sent to death row in 2008 for plotting terror attacks on Jordanians in Iraq.


The Jordanian government insisted on freeing al-Kasasbeh as part of the deal and showing proof that he was alive before the exchange of al-Rishaw - DAESH released a video on 3 February 2015 showing al-Kasasbeh being burned to death while trapped inside a cage.¬¬¬¬¬†Prior to the announcement of his death, a message purportedly from DAESH had presented an ultimatum to Jordan: "Bring convicted terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi to the Turkish border by sunset January 29 or the pilot will die". Al-Rishawi was of no strategic significance for Jordan and it was a small price to pay for getting the pilot released. Clearly DAESH was lying.¬¬¬¬¬†A Jordanian official said the pilot was actually killed a month ago, in early January.

The Jordanian pilot, Lt Muath al-Kasesbeh, comes from a prominent family and tribe. His father, Safi al-Kasasbeh, described his son as an unassuming Muslim. - Making those remarks well before his son's death was disclosed.¬¬¬¬¬†According to the Jordan Times: One of eight children, Muath al-Kasasbeh came from the town of Karak in South Jordan and graduated from the King Hussein Air College.¬¬¬¬¬†At the time of the capture, Safi al-Kasasbeh told the Jordan Times that his son was "a very modest and religious person," who memorized the Muslim holy book and "was never harmful to anyone."


King Abdullah condemned the killing, and said that "the brave pilot was killed in defense of his religion, his country and his (Islamic) nation."
"It is the duty of the sons and daughters of Jordan to stand together and show the mettle of the Jordanian people in unity, determination and resolve," the King said.
He has attracted much praise and words of encouragement from a huge number of people on the social media for his strong words and forceful military response to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria's murder of ¬¬¬¬¬†Lt al-Kasasbeh.


The otherwise taciturn King has emerged suddenly as a terrifying foe to DAESH. According to the Washington Examiner "Americans have been cheered up by one tough-talking world leader: The king of Jordan."


Following the news that DAESH murdered the Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh, King Abdullah who was visiting the USA told U.S. lawmakers in a closed door meeting that he would pursue the group, until Jordan's military runs "out of fuel and bullets."
"The blood of the martyred hero Muath al-Kasasbeh will not go in vain," he said, according to the Jordan Times "We are waging this war to protect our faith, values and humanitarian principles."¬¬¬¬¬†A rumour he would personally fly sorties against the terrorist group was denied.

Meanwhile the United Arab Emirates announced last week it is stationing a squadron of F-16 fighter jets in Jordan to help in the country's fight against the jihadist DAESH. A UAE diplomatic source and the official government news agency also said that its own combat operations in the U.S.-led coalition have been resumed.

By murdering the Jordanian pilot, DAESH overplayed its hand. Now it is payback time.

Muslim clerics in the region may never have sounded as condemning as they now do. Egypt's leading Sunni Muslim authority, al-Azhar University, described DAESH as a "Satanic, terrorist group" However, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb, said the "killers deserved to be 'killed, crucified, or to have their limbs amputated."
A Saudi Cleric insisted that "burning is rejected by Islamic law...only God tortures by fire.


Writing in the Sunday Times, James Rubin former assistant secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, said: "King Abdullah of Jordan is leading the way. DAESH, the King vows, will pay a heavy price for the torture and ritual killing of the captured Jordanian pilot - Jordan has gone from being a participant to being a leader".


Jordan has given the West a chance to beat the jihadists: We must take it, Rubin asserted.

Nehad Ismail is a UK based writer and broadcaster

*DAESH is now the U K Defence Forum's prefered term for the ever-changing group.¬¬¬†On 14 May 2014, the United States Department of State announced its decision to use "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL, our previous principal label) as the group's primary name. However, in late 2014 top US officials shifted toward DAESH citing it was the preferred term used by Arab partners.

The acronym (????) of ISIL's Arabic name a"l-Dawlah al-Islam?yah f? al-?Ir?q wa-al-Sh?m." There are many spellings of this acronym with DAESH gaining acceptance. ISIL considers the name Da'ish derogatory for it sounds similar to the Arabic words Daes, "one who crushes something underfoot," and Dahes, "one who sows discord."óand reportedly uses flogging as a punishment for those who use the name in areas it controls.

¬¬¬†

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Cookies
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.