Last December, ISIS captured Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh after his plane went down during airstrikes that were part of the United States-led coalition to defeat the group.
For more than a month, al-Kasasbeh’s family, hailing from a high-ranking tribe considered especially loyal to Jordan’s royal family, implored ISIS to let him go.
Hope that he could be spared ended in early February when a video emerged showing the 29-year-old pilot in a cage, being burned alive.
King Abdullah II, an instrumental supporter of the global coalition, then said Jordan would be relentless in retaliating against ISIS. The country unleashed airstrikes.
To Zakaria, Abdullah reiterated his commitment to stop ISIS. He called its fighters “outlaws” who twist Islam and use “intimidation” as their biggest weapon.
The King told Zakaria that he didn’t watch the video of the pilot’s slaying.
Syrian protesters, in 2011, wanted to bring change to the government which they said stifled expression in the harshest ways.
The al-Assad regime violently cracked down on the demonstrators, chaos erupted throughout Syria, and eventually many on the international stage came to believe al-Assad should go.
The King told Zakaria that the “history of dealing with” the al-Assad regime and the “history of dealing with” ISIS are two separate things.
“What has taken prominence at the moment is ISIS, Daesh,” he said.
Abdullah rhetorically asked whether both issues can be dealt with at the same time. “This has to be decided by the international community,” he said. “We believe there has to be a political solution” in Syria, and that has “not been clarified at the moment.”
Read: Does hurting ISIS help al-Assad?