UPDATE: The Jordanian government has said that the king did not personally fly any combat missions against ISIS. It was reiterated that the king is Commander in Chief of all of Jordan’s armed forces and he is personally involved in strategic planning of military action. The king is a trained special forces soldier and pilot trained on military helicopters as well as civilian aircraft.
In a throwback to the days of kings leading their knights on the field of battle, Jordan’s King Abdullah ibn al-Hussein, a trained special forces soldier and helicopter pilot, allegedly took part in the first bombing run against ISIS according to some reports. The above photo was posted to the Facebook page of The Royal Hashemite Court, the official page for the Jordanian monarchy.
While the reports of the king himself being on the aircraft are unconfirmed, it does appear that Jordan is already inflicting heavy losses against ISIS.
Launched in retaliation for the horrific death by immolation of Jordanian fighter pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh, who was shot down and captured by ISIS, the attacks reportedly killed 55 terrorists including a top leader known as the “Prince of Ninevah”. According to The International Business Times:
A day after the Islamic State released a video showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive, Jordan launched airstrikes against the group in Iraq that killed 55 people, including a top commander known as the “Prince of Nineveh,” Iraqi media reported Wednesday. The airstrikes came just hours after Jordan’s King Abdullah II pledged a “severe” response.
The king also apparently quoted Clint Eastwood’s classic film “Unforgiven” to describe how his country would avenge the death of their pilot.
“He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen,” said Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., a three tour Marine Corps veteran, who met with the king. “He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.” Hunter made the comments during an interview with Fox News.
Congressman Hunter said the king referenced the scene where Eastwood’s character describes how he is going to deliver his retribution:
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— عاجل المملكة (@KsaBrk) February 4, 2015