Official: Jordan halts ISIS strikes after capture

A Jordanian official says the country has suspended military action against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces, as it seeks to get back one of its pilots who was captured by the terrorist group.

“This should not be a permanent decision, as I believe, but, perhaps, a kind of step back to think and reflect and get the deal done with,” Rula Al Hroob, a Jordanian parliamentarian, told NPR on Tuesday.

{mosads}First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh was captured by ISIS after his F-16 fighter jet crashed in northern Syria on Dec. 24. Hroob said the capture has emboldened those in Jordan who oppose involvement in the war against ISIS.

“We have the people who were strongly against our involvement in this war, get more stronger now, because they’re talking about a thousand Kasasbeh to come if we continue participating in this war,” she said.

But she added that some would want revenge if ISIS kills Kasasbeh. ISIS has beheaded three American and two British hostages and showing the gory aftermath on video.

Hroob said Jordan will do whatever is necessary to get Kasasbeh out, including a rescue mission.

“We have some military intelligence over there in Iraq and Syria. And we have lots of intelligence informers, you might say, there. And we’re in a good position to run a negotiation with them in case we wanted to get Lieutenant Kasasbeh out,” she said.

“We are also talking with the Turks and with other allies to get this matter solved,” she added. 

Jordan is one of four coalition partners participating in airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. If Jordan does decide to pull out of the air campaign, it could risk the cohesion of the coalition.

A U.S. defense official said Wednesday there’s no indication yet that the Jordanians have paused bombing.


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