Jordan's King Abdullah was reported by some Arabic-language news outlets to be personally leading airstrikes against Islamic State militants, however those reports were in question on Thursday.
"The Jordanian King Abdullah II will participate personally on Thursday in conducting air strikes against the shelters of the terrorist ISIL organization to revenge the execution of the Jordanian pilot [First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh] by the ISIL," said one IraqiNews report
Abdullah is a seasoned fighter pilot trained in part at the U.K.'s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, so it was unclear if the report of his personal involvement was to be interpreted as him flying a plane, commanding the fleet, or both.
Turkish news site Anadolu Agency soon reported
on Thursday, however, that the stories of his personal involvement were false.
That same day, Abdullah himself reiterated his vow to strike Islamic State "strongholds," but remained vague on the details.
He said the revenge for burning Kasasbeh alive "will be harsh because this terrorist organization is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values."
On Wednesday, Jordanian officials hanged two prisoners in response to Kasasbeh's execution, senior al-Qaida prisoner Ziyad Karboli and suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi.
Jordan has been an ally of the U.S. and the international anti-terror coalition since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, acting as a base of operations and contributing its own military forces at times. Kasasbeh was on a mission in Syria when his plane was downed, and he was taken prisoner.
U.S. officials believe Kasasbeh was burned alive a month ago, however Islamic State militants didn't release the video of his execution until this week.
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