By Candace Kellner
In Karak, Jordan, Jordanians have united to mourn the death of Moath-al Kasasbeh, the Jordanian pilot burned to death by the terrorist group known as ISIS. He is mourned as a martyr by the country, but by his family, he is remembered as a son, cousin and husband. According to CNN, al-Kasasbeh’s mother was just released from the hospital and was too frail and distraught to speak.
“He always wanted to be a pilot. He was a really smart guy and everyone loved him,” his cousin, Layla al-Kasasbeh, told CNN. “And he was well-known and he was that guy who was so popular.”
Just six months before, Al-Kasasbeh married his newly widowed wife, and on Thursday, Feb. 5, on the spot of his wedding ceremony, the men of the family gathered in a tent.
Abdullah II, King of Jordan, joined mourners from all over the nation to express their condolences and outrage. The crowd vowed to sacrifice their lives to the monarch’s cause of annihilating ISIS, chanting, “our blood, our souls, we sacrifice for you.” The country recognizes al-Kasasbeh as a national hero, and he has become their new rallying point.
King Abdullah sat down with the slain pilot’s father to discuss a campaign of vengeance for his son’s murder.
Safi al-Kasasbeh told CNN that the King had heard him out, saying, “He promised us a good promise that he will bombard ISIS’s strongholds until he avenges Moath’s death and destroys them.”
According to CNN, the King said he would bombard ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria. Jordanian media also reported that Abdullah visited Jordan’s armed forces headquarters Thursday, Feb. 4.
The King’s promise to the al-Kasasbehs was sealed with a salute from fighter jets that flew over the deceased, 27-year-old lieutenant’s house. The bombing operation over Karak was appropriately named “Moath the Martyr.”