London: The barbaric killing of Jordanian pilot Moaz Kasasbeh by the Islamic State (IS) militants may persuade the Arab states to plunge into the battle against the Sunni radical group, which would change the nature of the fight, British daily The Independent said Friday.
An editorial in the daily noted that the cry for greater Arab leadership in the fight against the IS has gone up many times, adding that reaction across the Arab world looks like the pilot`s killing might have cost the IS.
The barbarity involved in Kasasbeh`s execution have turned even the erstwhile sympathisers of the jihadi group against it, according to the editorial.
It pointed out that before the slain pilot`s father -- a sheikh who belonged to the powerful Hashemite tribe -- discovered that his son had been murdered by the IS, he was said to have believed that Jordan should not be a part of the coalition against the IS at all.
What happened to Kasasbeh changed his viewpoint. And it appears that much of Jordan, and indeed the wider Middle East, now shares the revulsion of the slain pilot -- and with it, the desire for revenge.
The editorial made a case for greater Arab participation in the form of ground troop deployment to defeat the IS, adding that US-led airstrikes can "degrade" the insurgent group, but cannot get rid of it.
The editorial also underlined the symbolic value of predominantly Sunni Muslim nations taking part in the fight against the IS, adding that at a stroke, that would undermine the claim of the IS to be resisting Western aggression, and might bring more of Iraq`s Sunni communities under the banner of the "Operation Inherent Resolve", the US-led military operation against the IS.
It could even lay the ground for a rerun of the "Sunni awakening" that was critical in driving the Al Qaeda out of Iraq in 2006, the editorial noted.
Several factors have held back the Arab members of the anti-IS coalition. One has been the delicate nature of going to fight against Muslims, in a nearby Muslim country, the editorial said.
It called on the US and Britain to engage in a large diplomatic push to capitalise on the momentum against the IS, and invite further participation from Arab states.
According to media reports, Jordan executed two convicted terrorists Wednesday, including the woman whom the IS had demanded be released to save the lives of the Jordanian pilot and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who was also killed by the IS.
King Abdullah II of Jordan Wednesday said the country`s response to the killing of the pilot would be harsh and Jordan Air Force warplanes Thursday launched airstrikes against several targets of the IS terrorist group in Syria.