Throughout the past month, developments of the Jordanian-ISIL hostage crisis have gone from tense to brutally violent. Tensions between Jordan and the international terrorist organization have escalated to such a high point that Jordan has committed a violent bombardment of ISIL’s occupied territory. Iranian figures report that Jordan’s increased military capabilities have “destroyed 20 percent of the fighting capabilities of (ISIL),” showing how one can expect the Jordanian government to respond to the extremism and non-negotiation of hostages.
This threat was the public execution and conflagration of Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh, a pilot in the Jordanian Royal Air Force.
Though this barbaric stunt is in line with the terrorist group’s previous actions, al-Kasasbeh is the first Muslim man who has been killed on display, raising questions about the group’s sectarian mission. This invariably counteracts with the group’s objective of creating a sweeping Muslim state and has significantly hurt the group’s image amongst other Islamic extremist groups.
Questions have been raised as to what the motivations were for the Islamic State to act in such a way, and if they are truly organized enough to present a legitimate and longstanding claim on its place in the international community. Not only has the act of burning al-Kasasbeh alive negatively impacted the recruitment of Jordanian peoples, but ISIL’s killing of British hostage David Haines on Sept. 13, 2014, caused a severe decline in the membership to the group from the U.K. and nearly all parts of Western Europe.
Due to the mishandling of hostage negotiations, which led to the failure of cooperation in a deal and the killing itself, ISIL has seen a significant hit to its credibility, legitimacy and overall strength of leadership. According to ABC News, after being interrupted in a conference and given a briefing of the news of the video, President Obama said, “I think we’ll redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of our global coalition to make sure they’re degraded and ultimately defeated. It also just indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they’re operating off of … it’s bankrupt.”
ISIL’s actions have failed to cause fear in the hearts of the Jordanian people, and it has caused a new nationalistic backlash to emerge out of Jordan. The recent war powers resolution laid out to the hands of Capitol Hill made it clear that the United States was responding in the same fashion, echoing sentiment from the Japanese, British and French governments, all whom have lost citizens and soldiers to ISIL.
This recent attack reduces the criteria for who is an acceptable ISIL execution candidate, meaning that any citizen worldwide is eligible to be treated in an inhumane and barbaric fashion. These are international threats that must be addressed through the usage of military force, lest it go uncontained and continue to escalate the death toll of innocent lives.