Jordan has conducted 56 raids in three days of air strikes targeting a stronghold of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, the country’s air force commander has said.
The country launched the bombing raids on the Syrian city of Raqqa, an ISIL stronghold, on Thursday after ISIL released video showing the killing of a Jordanian pilot held hostage by the group.
“We achieved what we aimed at. We destroyed logistics centres, arms depots and targeted hideouts of their fighters,” General Mansour al-Jbour, the head of the Jordanian airf orce, said on Sunday.
Jbour said that 20 percent of the total sorties against the armed group made by the US-led coalition had been conducted by Jordan.
The sorties have led to the “degrading” of nearly 20 percent of the group’s capabilities, he said.
“We are determined to wipe them from the face of the Earth.”
ISIL recently released a video showing them burning the Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kassasbeh, to death while he was trapped in a cage.
In comments published on Saturday, Hussein al-Majali, Jordan’s interior minister, told the state-run al-Rai newspaper that his country would go after ISIL fighters “wherever they are”.
The heightened confrontation has raised concerns about possible ISIL attacks in Jordan.
Jordan’s Petra news agency reported on Sunday that John Allen, US President Barack Obama’s special envoy in the fight against ISIL, said that a new ground offensive led by Iraqi forces, with the support of US-led coalition forces, will soon begin targeting ISIL.
Allen added that “we are preparing 12 Iraqi millitary brigades that we are training as a prelude to the offensive”.