WATCH: Jordan's King Abdullah Addresses His People in Wake of ISIS Execution

World leaders from David Cameron to Barak Obama condemned the Islamic State for burning alive a Jordanian pilot being held hostage.

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REUTERS - There was widespread shock and anger in Jordan at the brutality of a killing that drew international condemnation.

Jordan, which is part of the U.S.-led alliance against Islamic State, has promised an "earth-shaking response" to the killing of its pilot, Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, who was captured in December when his F-16 warplane crashed over northeastern Syria.

Kasaesbeh's father said the two executions were not enough and urged the government to do more to avenge his death.

"I want the state to get revenge for my son's blood through more executions of those people who follow this criminal group that shares nothing with Islam," Safi al-Kasaesbeh told Reuters.

"Jordanians are demanding that the state and coalition take revenge with even more painful blows to destroy these criminals," he said.

The Jordanian army has vowed to avenge his death, and some analysts believe it could escalate its involvement in the campaign against Islamic State, which has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria, Jordan's neighbours to the north and east.

In the pilot's home village of Ay, mourners said Jordanians must rally around the state. "Today we put our differences behind us and rally behind the king and nation," said Jabar Sarayrah, a shopkeeper.

The prisoners were executed in Swaqa prison, 70 km (45 miles) south of Amman, just before dawn, a security source who was familiar with the case said. "They were both calm and showed no emotions and just prayed," the source added without elaborating.

The Jordanian pilot is the first from the coalition known to have been captured and killed by Islamic State.

Jordan is a major U.S. ally in the fight against hardline Islamist groups and hosted U.S. troops during operations that led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It is home to hundreds of U.S. military trainers bolstering defences at the Syrian and Iraqi borders, and is determined to keep the jihadists in Syria away from its frontier.

Rishawi, in her mid-forties, was part of an al Qaeda network that targeted three Amman hotels in suicide bombings in 2005. She was meant to die in one of the attacks - the worst in Jordan's history - but her suicide bomb belt did not go off.

 

Jordan said on Tuesday the pilot had been killed a month ago. The government had been picking up intelligence for weeks that the pilot was killed some time ago, a source close to the government said.

"ONCE HORROR DIES DOWN"

Disclosing that information appeared to be an attempt to counter domestic criticism that the government could have done more to strike a deal with Islamic State to save him.

"The horror of the killing, the method of killing is probably going to generate more short-term support for the state," said a Western diplomat. "But once that horror dies down, inevitably some of the questions revert on Jordan’s role in the coalition."

Jordanian state television broadcast archive footage of military manoeuvres with patriotic music, with a picture of Kasaesbeh in uniform in the corner of the screen.

U.S. officials said on Tuesday the pilot's death would likely harden Jordan's position as a member of the coalition against Islamic State.

 

The Syrian government condemned the killing and urged Jordan to cooperate with it in a fight against Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in Syria. The United States has ruled out Syria as a partner in the campaign against Islamic State, describing President Bashar al-Assad as part of the problem.

 

The executed woman came from Iraq's Anbar province bordering Jordan. Her tribal Iraqi relatives were close aides of the slain Jordanian leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, from whose group Islamic State emerged.

 

Islamic State had demanded her release in exchange for the life of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. However, Goto was beheaded by the group, video released last Saturday showed.

Jordan had insisted that they would only release the woman as part of a deal to free the pilot.