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King says retaliation ‘will be harsh’

Feb 05,2015 - Last updated at Feb 05,2015

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF), on Wednesday visited army headquarters where he met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff Gen. Mashal Al Zaben.

The King also met with several senior army officials during his visit to JAF’s headquarters immediately upon returning from the US, where he cut short his visit after terrorists announced that they have burned alive Jordanian pilot Muath Kasasbeh.  

King Abdullah and Zaben discussed several army-related issues, a Royal Court statement said. 

During his meeting at the army’s central command with senior officials and officers, the King pledged a harsh response to the killing of the Jordanian airman.  “The blood of the martyred hero Muath Kasasbeh will not go in vain.”

 

The King emphasised that Daesh terrorist group is not only fighting Jordan and the Jordanian people, but also Islam and its values.

“We are waging this war to protect our faith, values and humanitarian principles,” King Abdullah stressed, adding that Jordan’s position will be firm against “these criminals and that they will be hit hard at the very centre of their strongholds”.

The King expressed pride in efforts exerted by the government, JAF and security agencies in an attempt to rescue the Jordanian pilot, which started since the moment of his December 24 capture by the group after his plane went down near the Syrian town of Raqqa until his death was announced on Tuesday.

In this regard, the King voiced confidence in state institutions, the military and security organisations and their ability to safeguard the country and its accomplishments. 

The King also expressed his pride in the unity of the Jordanian people under the current circumstances and in countering terrorist dangers and threats. 

He commended the international community’s position in support of Jordan in dealing with this danger and its role in the war against terrorism, which he said is the war of the Arab and the Islamic world, all together. 

The meeting was attended by HRH Prince Feisal, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh and Zaben.

The King’s Adviser on National Security Affairs and the General Intelligence Department Director Gen. Faisal Shobaki, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Interior Minister Hussein Majali, Public Security Department Director Gen. Tawfiq Tawalbeh and Gendarmerie Department Director Maj. Gen. Ahmad Sweilmin also attended the meeting. 

Upon the King’s arrival, citizens lined up along the roads leading to Queen Alia International Airport to receive His Majesty, showing their support for the Hashemite leadership.

In an address to the Jordanian people on Tuesday, the King expressed great sorrow and anger over the killing of the Jordanian pilot, asserting that the officer died in defence of his faith, homeland and nation, and joined other martyrs who fell for the sake of the country, sacrificing their lives for dear Jordan.

“At this difficult time, it is the duty of all citizens to unify their ranks and show the true character of the Jordanian people when they face hardships and plights, which will only strengthen us and reinforce our unity,” the King said in his address. 

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