Kick-ass King Abdullah! The Jordan monarch vowing to destroy Daesh

Published February 7th, 2015 - 15:20 GMT

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Social media rumors were rampant last week claiming that King Abdullah II of Jordan was leading the next airstrike on Daesh, jumping into the cockpit himself to avenge the barbaric murder of fighter pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh. Photos flooded the internet, lifted from the King’s official Facebook page and the Royal Court’s Instagram, showing an intense-looking leader geared up for battle.

Abdullah was swift to react to the killing of the captured pilot, ordering immediate execution of two Iraqi prisoners (one a pawn in the aborted three-way hostage swap between Japan, Jordan and Daesh) and intesnsifying bombings on Daesh positions. His immediate and angry response and full public presence has helped a shocked a grieving kingdom unite. Continue reading below »

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Unlike his American and British counterparts, Jordan's 53-year-old leader has clocked in 35 years of active military service. His CV has earned him the moniker ‘warrior king.' Abdullah is a 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad PBOH.
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10Unlike his American and British counterparts, Jordan's 53-year-old leader has clocked in 35 years of active military service. His CV has earned him the moniker ‘warrior king." Abdullah is a 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad PBOH.

Enlarge
This iconic shot of Abdullah participating in special operations training exercises as ‘Jump-Master’ led viewers to believe he was on his way to bomb Daesh operations in Syria and Iraq.  Not true! The dramatic photograph is at least 8 months old.
Reduce

Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10This iconic shot of Abdullah participating in special operations training exercises as ‘Jump-Master’ led viewers to believe he was on his way to bomb Daesh operations in Syria and Iraq. Not true! The dramatic photograph is at least 8 months old.

Enlarge
As part of the kingdom’s Joint Special Operations Command, Jordan's elite special forces team falls is 14,000 strong.  With frequent training alongside US and UK forces, it is regarded as one of the most effective fighting and intelligence forces in the Middle East.
Reduce

Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10As part of the kingdom’s Joint Special Operations Command, Jordan's elite special forces team falls is 14,000 strong. With frequent training alongside US and UK forces, it is regarded as one of the most effective fighting and intelligence forces in the Middle East.

Enlarge
While Jordanian government has denied the king's physical involvement in any aerial attacks, the kingdom is likely to further contribute to the fight against Daesh moving beyond airstrikes and deploying its extremely effective special forces.
Reduce

Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10While Jordanian government has denied the king's physical involvement in any aerial attacks, the kingdom is likely to further contribute to the fight against Daesh moving beyond airstrikes and deploying its extremely effective special forces.

Enlarge
King Abdullah II pilots his helicopter while visiting different areas in his kingdom; he is a skilled Cobra attack helicopter pilot. Like father, like son: Queen Noor wrote in “Leap of Faith” how King Hussein would take her on daredevil flights to the Dead Sea to try and induce labor!
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Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10King Abdullah II pilots his helicopter while visiting different areas in his kingdom; he is a skilled Cobra attack helicopter pilot. Like father, like son: Queen Noor wrote in “Leap of Faith” how King Hussein would take her on daredevil flights to the Dead Sea to try and induce labor!

Enlarge
After the release of a brutal video showing captured Jordanian airman Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive in a cage, the King vowed to bombard the Islamic State until his military runs 'out of fuel and bullets'. Jordan has been part of the coalition carrying out airstrikes against Daesh in Mosul.
Reduce

Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10After the release of a brutal video showing captured Jordanian airman Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive in a cage, the King vowed to bombard the Islamic State until his military runs "out of fuel and bullets". Jordan has been part of the coalition carrying out airstrikes against Daesh in Mosul.

Enlarge
But it’s not all laughs. 'He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn't seen,' US congressman Duncan Hunter Jr., told the Washington Examiner after a meeting with the king. 'He mentioned [the movie] 'Unforgiven' and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.
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Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10But it’s not all laughs. "He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn't seen," US congressman Duncan Hunter Jr., told the Washington Examiner after a meeting with the king. "He mentioned [the movie] 'Unforgiven' and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.

Enlarge
 Abdullah is the head of a constitutional monarchy, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces. He has an honest affinity for the people under his command, witnessed is this image of him relaxing with troops after a meal in the field.
Reduce

Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10 Abdullah is the head of a constitutional monarchy, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces. He has an honest affinity for the people under his command, witnessed is this image of him relaxing with troops after a meal in the field.

Enlarge
The King is seen as fully capable of keeping his word to annihilate Daesh, at a minimum he’s inciting the international community to a more robust campaign against the terrorists.  The UAE left the coalition in December after al-Kasasbeh’s capture, but AP reports that the US is providing Jordan with $1bn annually in military aid.
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Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10The King is seen as fully capable of keeping his word to annihilate Daesh, at a minimum he’s inciting the international community to a more robust campaign against the terrorists. The UAE left the coalition in December after al-Kasasbeh’s capture, but AP reports that the US is providing Jordan with $1bn annually in military aid.

Enlarge
Step aside Brangelina, meet the Middle East’s biggest Power Couple.  Jordan’s Queen Rania joined thousands who rallied yesterday in Jordan's capital, Amman, in support of their government's military response to the Daesh killing of al-Kasasbeh.Behind every strong man is a strong woman.
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Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10Step aside Brangelina, meet the Middle East’s biggest Power Couple. Jordan’s Queen Rania joined thousands who rallied yesterday in Jordan's capital, Amman, in support of their government's military response to the Daesh killing of al-Kasasbeh.Behind every strong man is a strong woman.

Enlarge

1

Unlike his American and British counterparts, Jordan's 53-year-old leader has clocked in 35 years of active military service. His CV has earned him the moniker ‘warrior king.' Abdullah is a 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad PBOH.

Image 1 of 10Unlike his American and British counterparts, Jordan's 53-year-old leader has clocked in 35 years of active military service. His CV has earned him the moniker ‘warrior king." Abdullah is a 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad PBOH.

2

This iconic shot of Abdullah participating in special operations training exercises as ‘Jump-Master’ led viewers to believe he was on his way to bomb Daesh operations in Syria and Iraq.  Not true! The dramatic photograph is at least 8 months old.

Image 2 of 10This iconic shot of Abdullah participating in special operations training exercises as ‘Jump-Master’ led viewers to believe he was on his way to bomb Daesh operations in Syria and Iraq. Not true! The dramatic photograph is at least 8 months old.

3

As part of the kingdom’s Joint Special Operations Command, Jordan's elite special forces team falls is 14,000 strong.  With frequent training alongside US and UK forces, it is regarded as one of the most effective fighting and intelligence forces in the Middle East.

Image 3 of 10As part of the kingdom’s Joint Special Operations Command, Jordan's elite special forces team falls is 14,000 strong. With frequent training alongside US and UK forces, it is regarded as one of the most effective fighting and intelligence forces in the Middle East.

4

While Jordanian government has denied the king's physical involvement in any aerial attacks, the kingdom is likely to further contribute to the fight against Daesh moving beyond airstrikes and deploying its extremely effective special forces.

Image 4 of 10While Jordanian government has denied the king's physical involvement in any aerial attacks, the kingdom is likely to further contribute to the fight against Daesh moving beyond airstrikes and deploying its extremely effective special forces.

5

King Abdullah II pilots his helicopter while visiting different areas in his kingdom; he is a skilled Cobra attack helicopter pilot. Like father, like son: Queen Noor wrote in “Leap of Faith” how King Hussein would take her on daredevil flights to the Dead Sea to try and induce labor!

Image 5 of 10King Abdullah II pilots his helicopter while visiting different areas in his kingdom; he is a skilled Cobra attack helicopter pilot. Like father, like son: Queen Noor wrote in “Leap of Faith” how King Hussein would take her on daredevil flights to the Dead Sea to try and induce labor!

6

After the release of a brutal video showing captured Jordanian airman Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive in a cage, the King vowed to bombard the Islamic State until his military runs 'out of fuel and bullets'. Jordan has been part of the coalition carrying out airstrikes against Daesh in Mosul.

Image 6 of 10After the release of a brutal video showing captured Jordanian airman Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive in a cage, the King vowed to bombard the Islamic State until his military runs "out of fuel and bullets". Jordan has been part of the coalition carrying out airstrikes against Daesh in Mosul.

7

But it’s not all laughs. 'He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn't seen,' US congressman Duncan Hunter Jr., told the Washington Examiner after a meeting with the king. 'He mentioned [the movie] 'Unforgiven' and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.

Image 7 of 10But it’s not all laughs. "He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn't seen," US congressman Duncan Hunter Jr., told the Washington Examiner after a meeting with the king. "He mentioned [the movie] 'Unforgiven' and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.

8

 Abdullah is the head of a constitutional monarchy, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces. He has an honest affinity for the people under his command, witnessed is this image of him relaxing with troops after a meal in the field.

Image 8 of 10 Abdullah is the head of a constitutional monarchy, as well as the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces. He has an honest affinity for the people under his command, witnessed is this image of him relaxing with troops after a meal in the field.

9

The King is seen as fully capable of keeping his word to annihilate Daesh, at a minimum he’s inciting the international community to a more robust campaign against the terrorists.  The UAE left the coalition in December after al-Kasasbeh’s capture, but AP reports that the US is providing Jordan with $1bn annually in military aid.

Image 9 of 10The King is seen as fully capable of keeping his word to annihilate Daesh, at a minimum he’s inciting the international community to a more robust campaign against the terrorists. The UAE left the coalition in December after al-Kasasbeh’s capture, but AP reports that the US is providing Jordan with $1bn annually in military aid.

10

Step aside Brangelina, meet the Middle East’s biggest Power Couple.  Jordan’s Queen Rania joined thousands who rallied yesterday in Jordan's capital, Amman, in support of their government's military response to the Daesh killing of al-Kasasbeh.Behind every strong man is a strong woman.

Image 10 of 10Step aside Brangelina, meet the Middle East’s biggest Power Couple. Jordan’s Queen Rania joined thousands who rallied yesterday in Jordan's capital, Amman, in support of their government's military response to the Daesh killing of al-Kasasbeh.Behind every strong man is a strong woman.

Reduce

Is his rapid emergence as a macho monarch myth or mandatory for these times?

The King has sizeable street-cred as Jordan's "action man" King. He attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and had a stint in the British Army. He served as an officer in the Royal Jordanian Army, and in 1998 became a Major General in charge of Jordan's special forces - a role he held ‘til he was tapped as successor by his father, King Hussein, a few days before the latter's death in 1999.

But is the tough-guy role the best way to play this?

His majesty can’t control the social media spin. Some of the most-shared images are actually old photos from perfunctory military events held as far as a year ago. American journalist Andy Carvin dug into the story in detail and found that most of the pictures of the king in military gear were taken out of context.

Like his father, Abdullah is a qualified pilot with a passion for fast motorcycles.  A youthful attraction to adventure movies led him to a one-time (and often-clicked YouTubed clip) role as an extra on Star Trek. Warrior, biker or sci-fi fan: what Jordan now needs is a King who is above-all an unflappable statesman. His Highness is emerging as a hero-leader for our time.

 

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