UAE jets to help Jordan fight ISIL
ABU DHABI // The UAE ordered a squadron of F-16 fighter jets to Jordan on Saturday to support the kingdom in airstrikes against ISIL militants in Syria and Iraq.
The order was issued by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
“The initiative reaffirms the UAE’s unwavering and constant solidarity with Jordan and its leading role and immense sacrifices for the security and stability of the region, as embodied by the martyr and hero Maaz Al Kassasbeh,” said Wam, the state news agency.
The deployment was aimed at supporting Jordan’s military in the fight against “the brutal terrorist organisation”, which “showed all the world its ugliness and violation of all religious and human values through abominable crimes” that caused “outrage and disgust”, Wam said.
A plane flown by the Jordanian air force pilot Al Kassasbeh crashed near the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa on December 24.
The militants burned him alive 10 days later, and released video footage of the atrocity last week.
A US security official said that among all the Arabian Gulf countries the pilot’s brutal execution had been “a unifying event, doubling their resolve to take the fight to Daesh”.
After the US secretary of state John Kerry discussed security with Gulf ministers at a meeting in Munich, another US official said the UAE had “reaffirmed its commitment to the coalition” against ISIL.
* Agence France-Presse
Updated: February 8, 2015 04:00 AM