As the King of Jordan sends fighter planes in retaliatory airstrikes against the Islamic State for the murder of one of its pilots, combat aircraft from the United Arab Emirates are also making a return to the US-led international coalition formed to combat the ISIS in the Middle East.
According to FOX News, the UAE's official government news agency announced on Saturday that a squadron of its F-16 fighters have been deployed to bases in Jordan from which they can be launched for aistrikes into ISIS territory.
The United Arab Emirates is resuming its contribution to the joint effort to curb "the brutal terrorist organisation that showed all of the world its ugliness ... through abominable crimes that exposed its false allegations and drew outrage and disgust from the Arab peoples," the UAE said through the official Emirates News Agency, WAM.
The UAE's statement confirmed the US State Department's announcement on Friday that the UAE has reaffirmed its commitment to the coalition against the Islamic State.
Through WAM, the UAE also expressed its "deep belief in the need for Arab collective cooperation to eliminate terrorism ... through the collective encountering of these terrorist gangs and their misleading ideology and brutal practices."
Reuters reported last week that the UAE had withdrawn its aerial assets from the coalition shortly following the capture and execution of Jordanian pilot Lt. Mouath-al-Khasaesbeh. A senior US official who spoke to Reuters said that the UAE believed the United States did not have sufficient search-and-rescue assets in place to prevent downed pilots from being captured.
The UAE then urged the Pentagon "to establish better search-and-rescue capability in northern Iraq close to the battlefield," including the deployment of V-22 tilt rotor aircraft, the official, who spoke on anonymity, revealed.
However, Reuters reported, US officials declined to confirm the withdrawal of UAE support for the coalition.