SHAFAQNA – In an interview with CNN, the King of Jordan opened up to reporter Fareed Zakaria, discussing events in the region, ISIS and the growing threat of terrorism.
Last December, ISIS captured Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh after his plane went down during airstrikes that were part of the United States-led coalition to defeat the group. For more than a month, al-Kasasbeh’s family, which comes from a high-ranking tribe pleaded with ISIS to let him go. Such hopes were crushed when a video of his execution surfaced.
King Abdullah II, an instrumental supporter of the global coalition, then said Jordan would be relentless in retaliating against ISIS. The country unleashed airstrikes.
King Abdullah called ISIS fighters “outlaws” who twist Islam and use “intimidation” as their biggest weapon.
The King told Zakaria that he didn’t watch the video of the pilot’s slaying.
“I — many of us refused to see what I think is propaganda,” Abdullah said.
The King continued. “His wife, they’d only been married for five months. (I felt) anger as the son of the Arab army, Jordanian armed forces. God bless his soul. He’s a brother in arms. All soldiers past and present were disgusted by the brutality of what Moath was put through.”
He went on, “I think if ISIS, or Daesh as we call them, try to intimidate Jordanians … just (has) the reverse effect,” Abdullah said. “If you look at our history, we’re a country that’s used to being outgunned and outnumbered. We’ve always punched way above our weight. I think, if anything, Daesh has us as a tiger by the tail.”