After the brutal execution by fire of a Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), rumours have been circulating on social media that King Abdullah II of Jordan had personally led air attacks against the Islamist militia.
These were coupled with a photo (right) of the king in military fatigues. Lots of people initially doubted its authenticity, but the photo at least seems to be legitimate.
It was actually posted on the official Facebook page of the The Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan’s monarchy), pretty much guaranteeing its authenticity.
The image caption simply said: “His Majesty King Abdullah II, The Supreme Commander of Jordanian Armed Forces, cuts his visit to the United States of America after the martyrdom of Muath Al Kasasbeh.”
The Jordanian government have completely denied that Abdullah was actually involved in any aerial attacks. There was a superficial plausibility to the story, because the King is a military man. According to a 2013 interview, he’s a keen helicopter pilot. After an early education at the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he went on to command Jordan’s special forces.
“He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen,” said Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, who was in the meeting with the king. “He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.”
Hunter would not say which part of “Unforgiven” the king quoted, but noted it was where Eastwood’s character describes how he is going to deliver his retribution. There is a scene in the picture in which Eastwood’s character, William Munny, says, “Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a bitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends and burn his damn house down.”
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