Jordanians march against ISIL, demand ‘vengeance’

AMMAN (AA) – Hundreds of Jordanians took to the streets of Amman on Friday to denounce the murder earlier this week of Jordanian air force pilot Moaz al-Kasasba at the hands the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militant group.

Led by Queen Rania Abdullah, demonstrators waved pictures of al-Kasasba and chanted slogans denouncing ISIL terrorism, demanding “vengeance” and uniting behind Jordan’s king and army.

The march, which was organized by various popular and nationalist groups, set out after weekly Friday prayers towards the capital’s municipal building, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported.

Pictures of al-Kasasba covered the windows of storefronts across the Amman.

On Wednesday, one day after the emergence online of a video purportedly showing al-Kasasba being burnt alive by his ISIL captors, King Abdullah promised a “devastating response” by the Jordanian army against the militant group.

The gruesome video sent shockwaves across Jordan, which was already a member of an ongoing U.S.-led air campaign against the militant group, as well as a fresh wave of global outrage against the ISIL.

Al-Kasasba was captured by ISIL militants after his fighter plane crashed in the Syrian city of Raqqa last December.

Shortly after the appearance of the video on Tuesday, Jordanian authorities executed two Iraqi nationals – Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziyad al-Karbouli – who had been on a death row since 2006 after being convicted of terrorism by a Jordanian court.

Last summer, the ISIL captured large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, killing thousands of people in the process. It later declared the captured territories to be part of a self-styled “Islamic caliphate.”

Since the group captured the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in June of last year, a U.S.-led coalition – which includes Jordan – has carried out numerous airstrikes against ISIL targets in both Iraq and Syria.

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