Jordan says conducts 56 aerial raids in three days against Islamic State

Jordan says conducts 56 aerial raids in three days against Islamic State
An image grab taken from the Jordanian TV on February 5, 2015 shows flames erupting from a building hit by an airstrike against Islamic State (IS) group by warplanes of the Jordanian Air forces eagles at an undisclosed location.

AMMAN - Jordan's air force chief said on Sunday his country's jet fighters had conducted 56 raids in three days of intensified bombing targeting a stronghold of Islamic State militants in northeast Syria.

Jordan launched the bombing raids against the jihadist group's positions in Syria and Iraq on Thursday in response to its brutal killing of a captured Jordanian pilot, military action that it continued on Saturday.

There was no word of any new strikes against the militants on Sunday. "We achieved what we aimed at. We destroyed logistics centres, arms depos and targeted hideouts of their fighters," General Mansour al Jbour, head of the Jordanian airforce, told a news conference.

Jordan has carried out nearly 20 per cent of the total sorties conducted by the US-led coalition against Islamic State in Syria to date, al Jbour said, adding that they had been careful not to hit any civilians.

The sorties have led to the "degrading" of nearly 20 per cent of the hardline militants' capabilities, he said. "We are determined to wipe them from the face of the Earth." Jordan's King Abdullah has vowed to avenge the killing of pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh and has ordered his commanders to prepare for an increased military role in the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

Many Jordanians fear being dragged into a conflict that could trigger a backlash by hardline militants inside the kingdom.

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