Military Capabilities

Jordan breaks silence on airstrikes after death of pilot

06 February 2015
An image released by the JAF on 5 February shows one of its F-16s preparing to take off for a combat sortie. Source: JAF

Emboldened by the death of one of their pilots at the hands of the Islamic State, the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) acknowledged for the first time on 5 February that Jordan had carried out airstrikes against the militant group.

Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh was captured after ejecting from his F-16 over Syria on 24 December. His death was confirmed on 3 February when the Islamic State released a video showing him being burned alive.

Two days later a statement posted on the JAF website said they had avenged Lt al-Kasasbeh by carrying out multiple strikes against Islamic State training centres and weapons caches. "All the targets that were attacked were destroyed and the aircraft returned safely to base," the JAF said without specifying locations.

A video showing Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) F-16s being prepared for a combat mission and taking off was also released in addition to aerial footage of airstrikes being carried out.

On their return, the aircraft flew over Lt al-Kasasbeh's village, where King Abdullah II was consoling the deceased pilot's family.

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