A Jordanian pilot's brutal immolation at the hands of the militants of Islamic State drew condemnation from across the Arab world, but the grim outcome of his capture was already testing the will of regional allies taking part in the U.S.-led air war in Iraq and Syria.
Saudi Arabia, still weathering a power transition following last month’s death of King Abdullah, called for a stepping up of the fight against “terror in all its forms,” according to the official news agency, which cited an unnamed Saudi official. Referring to Islamic State’s fanaticism, the statement reaffirmed Saudi “determination to continue fighting against this deluded thought.”
The UAE's foreign minister declared "this heinous crime and obscene act" to be an "outrageous escalation from a terrorist group whose real goals and aims have now been exposed."
Jordan has so far reacted with defiance and vows of retribution, with the first tangible sign of that the execution at dawn of two convicted Al Qaeda figures, including a female would-be suicide bomber who took part in a bloody 2005 attack on Amman hotels. Some observers predicted that the shock and fury over the young pilot’s fate would bring a show of national unity, at least for now.
Qatar, which has played a supporting role in the air war -- primarily through hosting the U.S. Central Command's forward headquarters at a huge base outside Doha -- offered condolences to Jordan. And tiny Bahrain, base to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, denounced what it called the "despicable crime" of Kasasbeh's execution.
Turkey has denied involvement in the military campaign, though leaving room for emergency use of one of its bases. The Turkish government denounced the pilot's killing as contrary to "humanitarian values."
Many Muslim public figures expressed revulsion over what they called the group's extreme distortion of Islamic values.
Special correspondents Tarek Sharif in Cairo and Amro Hassan in Berlin contributed to this report.