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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.
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.

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