Jordanian officials were contemplating sending troops into Syria to fight the Islamic State group after it announced it had executed a Jordanian pilot captured in Syria by burning him alive, according to two tweets Wednesday by Washington Post correspondents in the Jordanian capital Amman. A four-minute video released Tuesday titled "Muslims' Joy at Burning of Jordanian Pilot" shows men and children gathering to watch footage of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, being burned alive by the militant group also known as ISIS.
Jordan has vowed an "earth-shaking" response to al-Kaseasbeh's killing. In retaliation so far, Jordan has executed two prisoners of its own, one of them a failed female suicide bomber, Sajida al-Rishawi, who took part in a 2005 triple-bombing attack on hotels in Amman. It also executed Ziad al-Karbouly, a prisoner and Iraqi member of al Qaeda.
Al-Kaseasbeh was captured after his plane crashed in Syria in December, and he may have been killed in early January. Jordan is one of the Arab countries participating in a coalition carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria. The execution has unleashed a swell of emotions across the country. On Twitter, Jordanians have taken to using hashtags in English, #IAmMuath, and in Arabic, such as the one that translates as, "WeAreAllMuath."
Foreign correspondent William Booth tweeted Wednesday that lawmakers had hinted at escalations in the fight against ISIS:
Jordan legislators say "stage is set for escalation" in fight against ISIS, don't rule out use of ground troops & special forces in Syria.
— William Booth (@BoothWilliam) February 4, 2015
Another Washington Post correspondent, Taylor Luck, tweeted:
— Taylor Luck يوسف لاك (@Taylor_Luck) February 4, 2015
Neither journalist named government sources or specific parliamentarians, and neither linked his tweet to other sources.
Jordan's role in the coalition fighting the Islamic State group was controversial before the militants captured al-Kaseasbeh, the first Jordanian taken hostage by ISIS. In September, lawmakers submitted a memo that asked the government not to join any military efforts against the Islamic State, because it "is not our war," the Jordan Times reported at the time. Jordan has been participating in the U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria, which began in September.