Bahrain to Assist Jordan’s Fight with ISIS as UAE Resumes Airstrikes

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bahrain's ruler has told his Jordanian counterpart that he is ready to assist the kingdom in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, the royal palace in Amman said on Monday.

King Hamad of Bahrain, quoted in a palace statement, told King Abdullah II that he was "proud to provide all the help Jordan needs to combat terrorism and protect Islam from Daesh," using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Talks between the two monarchs in Amman on Monday focused on reinforcing military cooperation between their countries, notably their air forces, the statement said.

Jordan has vowed to intensify its airstrikes against ISIS as part of a US-led coalition after the jihadists burned alive one of its pilots captured in December when his F-16 fighter jet went down over Syria.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday deployed a squadron of F-16s in Jordan to support Amman's campaign against the extremists, who seized large parts of Iraq and Syria last year.

Meanwhile, the UAE resumed airstrikes against ISIS on Tuesday which it had suspended after the jihadists captured a Jordanian pilot in December, the military said.

"Aircraft of the F-16 squadron based in Jordan launched raids this morning against positions of the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization, hitting their targets and returning safely to base," the UAE armed forces command said.

Alongside UAE, Bahrain was the first Arab country to join the US-led anti-ISIS air campaign and to confirm its war jets action in Syria.

The US, France and the European Union also announced various upscales and shifting of strategies in the fight against ISIS following the Jordanian pilot’s death.

On Thursday, US defense officials told AFP that Washington deployed aircraft and troops to northern Iraq to boost capabilities to rescue downed pilots fighting with the international coalition that is battling ISIS. The move is designed to shorten the response time needed to reach pilots who end up in territory held by ISIS.

President Francois Hollande said in a press conference on Thursday that the mission to push back the extremist group had been "too slow," and vowed that France would work "with more and more intensity."

On Friday, The European Union announced its pledge of one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in funding for Syria and Iraq in the fight against ISIS.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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