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Jordan’s plea for end to IS

- AP

JORDAN has called for a decisive battle against the Islamic State group, declaring “this evil can and should be defeated”, after the militants burned a Jordanian pilot to death in a cage and gleefully broadcast the horrific images on outdoor screens in their stronghold.

Waves of revulsion over the killing washed across the Middle East, a region long accustomed to violence.

In mosques, streets and coffee shops, Muslims denounced the militants’ brutality and distanced themselves from their violent version of Islam.

Even a prominent preacher with close links to jihadi groups said IS militants miscalcula­ted if they hoped the images of the pilot’s agony would galvanise greater opposition to a US-led military coalition that has been bombing targets of the group.

“After millions of Muslims were cursing every pilot (in the coalition), with this act, they (IS) have made the burned one into a symbol,” Saudi sheik Abdullah al-Muhaysni tweeted.

IS, which controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, has killed captives in the past, posting videos of beheadings and sparking widespread condemnati­on. But the killing of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who crashed over Syria in December, also highlighte­d the vulnerabil­ity of Jordan, a key Western ally, to threats from extremists.

In Washington, congressio­nal support has built for increased US military assistance to the kingdom. The US provides Jordan with $1 billion annually in economic and military assistance.

King Abdullah cut short his US trip to rally domestic support for an even tougher line against the militants.

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