Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | abdullah | jordan | isis | world war

Jordan's King Abdullah: ISIS Fight is 'Third World War'

By    |   Sunday, 01 March 2015 09:09 PM

The fight to defeat the Islamic State group (ISIS) is a "third World War by other means," Jordan's King Abdullah II said Sunday, but "it's not a Western fight," and he does not want to see American boots on the ground as part of the battles.

The Jordanian leader, in an exclusive interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria on his Global Public Square show, said he has told leaders in both the Islamic and Arab world and to the world in general that the fight brings "Muslims, Christians, and other religions together in this general fight that all of us have to be in together."

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But it is a "fight inside of Islam where everybody comes together against these outlaws together," said the king, and the military aspect is only part of the issue.

"There's the medium part, which is the security part to it," said Abdullah. "There's a long-term element to this, which is obviously the ideological one. That's the one more complicated and more difficult."

Meanwhile, Syria and Iraq must also deal with their own issues, he said, and while that "doesn't mean they can't be aided by air, possibly special forces types of operations in the future," there are many in the Middle East who look at the fight against Islamic extremists "being sort of our fight."

"Trying to keep Western boots off the ground is, I think, an essential part of how we move forward. I think this is why most of us are looking at it that way," he continued.

Further, there is always the perception that ISIS would use the issue of outside forces as "the wrong issue."

"They will obviously always use the idea of this is a crusade, which it is not," Abdullah said. "Actually, this is our fight. At the same time when you look at Syria and also Iraq, it's the integrity and sovereignty of those countries."

Abdullah's interview was his first since the death of a Jordanian pilot who was videotaped being burned alive in a cage, which the king said he has not watched.

"Many of us refused to see what I think is propaganda," he said. "I had a detailed brief of what happened. We couldn't escape seeing, obviously, pictures in the newspapers."

And he believes that the video was made in an attempt to intimidate Jordanians, but it had the opposite effect.

"If you look at our history, we're a country that's used to being outgunned and outnumbered," said Abdullah. "It just motivated Jordanians to rally around the flag, and the gloves have come off."

And as for ISIS, or Daesh, as Abdullah and others in the Middle East prefer to call the militants, the group tries to work by intimidation and through a link to Islam that does not exist, said the king.

"They are trying to invent links to caliphates, to our history in Islam, which has no truth or bearing to our history," he said.

"To bring in deluded young men and women who think this is sort of an Islamic nation, it has nothing to do with our history. Actually the barbarity with the way they executed our brave hero shocked the Muslim world, specifically Jordanians from this region. It had nothing to do with Islam."

And while the Jordanian government has planned an "earth-shattering" response to the execution of its pilot, "earth shattering from all military capabilities is not something that happens overnight," said Abdullah. "There are continued operations going on in Syria. We are coordinating with our friends in Iraq. There is a long-term approach to this issue."

The king took offense to the militants asking why Jordan is becoming involved in the war.

"It is our war," he said. "It has been for a long time. Against these people for lack of a better term, these are outlaws, in a way, of Islam trying to use expansionist policy."

And when they set up this "irresponsible caliphate" to expand their dominion over Muslims, they tried to make themselves look like victims and that Muslims are preying on them, he said.

"What about the hundreds if not thousands of Muslims they have killed in Syria and Iraq over the past year and a half?" the king said. "We have a moral responsibility to reach out to those Muslims to protect them and to stop them before they reach our border."

Meanwhile, Abdullah said he agrees with President Barack Obama, when he says that he does not want to call ISIS or Daesh Islamic extremists, as he doesn't want to acknowledge they are Islamic.

"I think this is something that has to be understood on a much larger platform," the king said. "They are looking for legitimacy they don't have inside of Islam...they are in a way outlaws that are on the fringe of Islam."

And by calling them Muslim, said Abdullah, it gives the terrorists what they want.

"No, we are Muslims," said Abdullah. "I don't know what they are. They definitely do not have any relationship to our faith."

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The fight to defeat the Islamic State group (ISIS) is a "third World War by other means," Jordan's King Abdullah II said Sunday, but "it's not a Western fight," and he does not want to see American boots on the ground as part of the battles.
abdullah, jordan, isis, world war
Sunday, 01 March 2015 09:09 PM
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