THUNDER BAY – Game Changer? The brutal murder of a fighter pilot from Jordan could prove to be a real turning point in the Middle East in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIL). Twenty-six-year-old Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh, a fighter pilot was captured by ISIL while participating in airstrikes led by the U.S.-led coalition.
Jordan has been united in purpose by the brutal murder. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh was burned alive by his captors.
“Our punishment and revenge will be as huge as the loss of the Jordanians,” stated Jordanian Army spokesman Mamdouh al-Ameri.
The murder happened in early January, just over a week after the Sunni Muslim Muath Al-Kaseasbeh had been captured. ISIL had been reportedly negotiating with Japan and Jordan for his release as a part of a prisoner exchange.
Jordan has promised swift and harsh action against ISIL. That started today with the hanging of two prisoners who were being held in Jordanian jail. The woman who ISIL was seeking to have released, Sajida al-Rishawi was the first person hung following the release of the video.
It is likely that ISIL may have opened a pathway that will bring increased pressure on governments across the Middle East to stand up to the threats that ISIL presents in their region.
If governments across the Middle East decide to stand up and take on the threat in their backyard, it is very likely the brutal murder will prove to have been a matter of the ISIL taking things too far.
Jordan’s state of unity and determination is likely to prove a major shift in the game.