International Security

Jordan Responds to Death of Pilot


February 04, 2015 23:59 EDT

With the brutal death of a pilot, how should Jordan respond?

The Islamic State, a terrorist organization that seized territory in Syria and Iraq and redrew the Sykes-Picot borders, has executed 26-year-old Moaz al-Kassasbeh. The Jordanian pilot crashed in an air-raid over Syria in December and was captured by militants, who demanded the release of convicted terrorists in Jordan as part of a prisoner swap.

In response to his death, Jordanian authorities executed Sajida al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber in terrorist attacks that struck Amman in 2005, and Ziyad Karboli, an al-Qaeda operative — both of whom were sitting on death row.

With the release of a video showing Kassasbeh being brutally burned alive while stood in a cage, Jordanians want King Abdullah to respond with an iron fist. As US-led airstrikes continue over Iraq and Syria, what comes next for Jordan as it sits next door to a quasi-state run by jihadists?

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