For some time now the Western world has responded to ISIS’ violence with strong resistance in Iraq, strongly assisted by Iraqi Kurds.
Now the Middle Eastern nation of Jordan is upping its involvement in the fight against ISIS’ brand of Islamic extremism. The Wall Street Journal reports that “the Jordanian air force carried out a new round of airstrikes targeting Islamic State Thursday [Feb. 5]” (Asa Fitch and Suha Ma’ayeh, “Jordanian Fighter Jets Conduct Fresh Airstrikes,” Feb. 5, 2015).
This comes on the heels of a particularly despicable public show when ISIS released video of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive by militants.
The execution has sparked intense anger from many Jordanian nationals, including the royal family. “The country has vowed ‘punishment and revenge’ for his death, and the king described IS as a ‘deviant criminal group’” (Paul Adams, “Jordan Pilot Hostage Moaz al-Kasasbeh ‘Burned Alive’,” BBC News, Feb. 3, 2015).
While King Abdullah and the rest of Jordan’s ruling family have been publicly condemnatory of ISIS previously, this marks somewhat of a shift in public opinion in Jordan as a whole. Only time will tell whether ISIS is able to make a strong push into Jordan—which they have previously threatened to do—or if their northwestwardly expansion will be stopped.
On Feb. 5, columnist Charles Krauthammer speculated that ISIS may be trying to draw Jordan into an unwinnable war in hopes that public support of military action will fade and eventually turn to discontent (as happened with the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan), leading in time to destabilization of the kingdom. This would make ISIS the clear winner in the long term, and potentially lead to a takeover of that nation.
It’s not a coincidence that the Middle East continues to be an explosively violent region. Much of future Bible prophecy centers around Jerusalem and surrounding areas. While the future holds even more chaos and tragedy, the end of the story is filled with hope, healing and reconciliation.
Stay informed about the present and future of the Middle East by reading future issues of this publication. (Sources: The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, The Washington Post.)