Amman – Jordan is going after Islamic State group militants wherever they are and plans to “wipe them out completely,” Jordan’s interior minister said, as Jordanian fighter jets struck the group’s positions for the third consecutive day Saturday.
It was the latest in a series of warnings of harsh retaliation after the militants released a video of them burning a Jordanian pilot to death in a cage. The gruesome images sparked widespread anger in Jordan and the region.
The kingdom joined a U.S.-led military coalition in September, but said after the killing of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, that it would intensify its air attacks. The campaign began Thursday, with state media reporting new strikes Saturday.
Interior Minister Hussein al-Majali said al-Kaseasbeh’s killing was a turning point for Jordan.
He told the state-run al-Rai newspaper in comments published Saturday that Jordan will go after the militants “wherever they are.”
The most recent airstrikes are “the beginning of a continued process to eliminate them and wipe them out completely,” he said of the militants who control about a third of neighboring Syria and Iraq.
The heightened confrontation has raised concerns about possible Islamic State group attacks in Jordan.
The minister said security services have a tight grip and are ready for “anyone who wants to interfere in the security of Jordan.” He urged Jordans to report suspicious behavior, particular in neighborhoods with large numbers of non-Jordanians.