Daily Video

February 5, 2015

Execution of Jordanian pilot draws outrage


The violent militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released a video this week showing the gruesome execution of a Jordanian military pilot, drawing criticism and anger across the Middle East.

Palestinian, Israeli and Turkish leaders denounced the killing, as did Muslim clerics.

The Jordanian government quickly executed two prisoners in response. ISIL had demanded the release one of the prisoners, Sajida al-Rishawi, in exchange for the pilot. Jordan had requested proof that the pilot was still living, suspecting that they had already killed him.

Jordan is a part of the U.S.-led coalition of groups fighting ISIL in the Middle East. ISIL took strongholds in Syria and Iraq over the summer; since then, the coalition has made “limited and halting progress” in stopping their advance, according to Colonel Derek Harvey, former special adviser to the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

King Abdullah of Jordan vowed retaliation for the killing and launched new airstrikes against ISIL camps. The U.S. announced it will send more money to Jordan in the next three years to modernize its military.

The event has been a “wake-up call” for countries across the Middle East, according to Janine Davidson, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for plans during President Obama’s first term.

But the coalition fighting ISIL faces challenges, with unity difficult for a diverse array of groups and resources limited, Harvey said.

Warm up questions
  1. Where is Jordan?
  2. What countries make up the Middle East?
Critical thinking questions
  1. What do you think is the best response to the murder of the Jordanian pilot from:
      a) Jordan?
      b) neighboring countries?
      c) the United States?
      Explain your answers.
  2. How do groups of people justify violence during a conflict?
  3. What are other ways, besides violence, to find justice after a horrific act?
  • Tags:

  • Related Stories

    Tooltip of related stories

    More Videos

    Tooltip of more video block

    Submit Your Student Voice

    NewsHour Extra will not use contact information for any purpose other than our own records. We do not share information with any other organization.

    More Videos