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UAE to station F-16 squadron in Jordan to fight IS

UAE to station F-16 squadron in Jordan to fight IS

Dubai: The UAE has ordered that an F-16 fighter jet squadron be stationed in Jordan to support Amman's efforts to fight the Islamic State (IS), Xinhua reported Saturday.

Citing the United Arab Emirates' WAM news agency, it said the order, issued by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, reaffirmed the UAE's "unwavering and constant solidarity" with Jordan and recognised its immense sacrifices for the security and stability of the region, as embodied by the Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, who was brutally killed by his IS captors.

According to the decree, the move displayed the UAE's support for Jordan's efforts and effective participation in an international coalition to battle the IS.

The order added that "the brutal terrorist organisation" has showed the whole world its "ugliness and violation of all religious and human values, through abominable crimes that exposed its false allegations and drew outrage and disgust from the Arab peoples".

However, it was not clear whether the UAE's fighter jets would carry out airstrikes against the IS.

Jordan and the UAE are members of a US-led military coalition against the jihadis, but according to earlier reports, the UAE had suspended its airstrikes late last year.

Earlier this week, the IS posted a video on the Internet, which purportedly showed that the militants burned the Jordanian pilot alive.

Following the incident, King Abdullah II of Jordan vowed that his country's response to the killing of the pilot would be harsh.

Jordan executed two jihadi prisoners in retaliation Wednesday and launched airstrikes against several IS targets in Syria Thursday.

On Saturday, Jordan launched new rounds of airstrikes against IS targets for the third straight day.

The 26-year-old Jordanian pilot, was captured by the IS when his plane crashed in Syria late last year.

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