King attends pilot’s funeral as Jordan launches strikes against Islamic State

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Jordan’s King Abdullah cut short a visit to Washington to attend the funeral of Jordanian pilot Moaz Al-Kasaesbeh, who was murdered at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIL).

The funeral, attended by thousands of Jordanians, was held at the Al-Kasaesbeh family’s home village of Ay, near Karak in central Jordan.

Prior to the funeral, Safi Al-Kasaesbeh, the pilot’s father, called for revenge against the Islamic State.

“I demand none of them amongst us be kept alive,” he said. “I demand the revenge be greater than executing prisoners. I demand the ISIL organisation be annihilated.”

Jordan has retaliated for Al-Kasaesbeh’s murder by executing two affiliates of Al-Qaeda in Iraq; Sajida Al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide bomber, and Ziyad Al-Karbouly, a lieutenant for the group.

King Abdullah was seen embracing Al-Kasaesbeh’s father and relatives prior to the funeral, during which military planes flew over the village. Witnesses overheard the monarch telling the pilot’s father the planes were returning from the militant-held city of Raqqa, Syria.

The Jordanian army has reportedly conducted air strikes in Syria as further retaliation for the murder, hitting targets near Raqqa and in the eastern province of Deir Al-Zor.

King Abdullah has vowed an uncompromising all-out offensive against the terrorist group.