Kerry on Death of Jordanian First Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, D.C.
February 3, 2015

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY

The Death of Jordanian First Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh

Jordanian First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh represented everything that ISIL is not: he was brave, compassionate, and principled.

That a young patriot — a devout Muslim, one of eight children, just months into married life, with the hopes of his own family in front of him — would be ISIL’s latest victim reminds us all of the evil of this enemy.

The United States extends its deepest condolences to Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh’s family, King Abdullah II, the Jordanian Armed Forces, and the people of Jordan. Jordanians have demonstrated extraordinary compassion by opening their borders to the flow of refugees precipitated by the violence in Syria and Iraq.

That he was murdered after his father’s plea for compassion reminds all the world that this foe has no agenda other than to kill and destroy, and places no value on life, including that of fellow Muslims.

The brave actions of Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh and other coalition pilots like him — which have been eroding ISIL’s control over territory, and halting its advance demonstrate yet again that ISIL’s claims of invincibility are unfounded.

From the first airstrikes through this very moment, Arab pilots have flown with courage and skill, along with their partners in a broad coalition. Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh believed in that mission, and his fight endures for all those who now fly in his name.

We will never allow the scourge of ISIL to spread to other countries, or the death of Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh and thousands of innocent victims to be forgotten. Our support for the Arab coalition united against this terrorist organization will not rest until ISIL can no longer threaten the region and their lies and deceptions are clear to all. Today and hereafter, particularly in this hour of grief, our support for Jordan and the Jordanian people remains strong and steadfast.