— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 3, 2015
In the unending gruesome brutality that is the civil war in Syria a new bloody chapter has been written. The kingdom of Jordan has now executed two ISIS prisoners in response to ISIS releasing a video of a Jordanian pilot being executed by being burned alive.
First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh’s F-16 fighter jet was reportedly shot down on December 24th of last year and despite ISIS entering negotiations to trade Kasasbeh for ISIS prisoners in Jordan as late as last week it appears Kasabeh was killed on January 3rd. Video of his execution was released yesterday which showed his brutal death at the hands of ISIS. The video also included images that claimed to show the damage done to the area by the US-backed bombing campaign.
Jordan responded rapidly, executing Sajida al-Rishawi, who was convicted after attempting a suicide bombing, and Ziad al-Karbouli, a top lieutenant of Al Qaeda in Iraq, before dawn on Wednesday, according to the official news agency Petra…
The video, with its references to the Islamic State’s punishment of nations like Jordan that joined the American-led coalition against it, appeared to be an attempt to cow the Arab nations and other countries that have agreed to battle the militants in Syria. So far, it appeared to have had the opposite effect in Jordan, which suggested its resolve had been stiffened. But the capture of the pilot had already hurt the coalition, with the United Arab Emirates suspending its own airstrikes in December and demanding that the group improve its search and rescue efforts for captured members.
It is hard to say how effective ISIS’ strategy is here. On the one hand it may have sown some fear within some members of the coalition but the outrage from the brutality of the killing of the Jordanian pilot may lead to intensifying attacks. The reaction may have been more muted had Kasasbeh not been killed in such a horrid manner.
One thing that is clear is that ISIS is not going anywhere soon and there is, as of yet, no indications that either the regional powers or the US can stop the bloodshed (if that’s a goal anymore). The war goes on.