In IS backlash, Amman cleaners swap orange for turquoise

AP News
Posted: Mar 09, 2015 11:59 AM

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Turquoise is the new orange — for Amman's 5,000 sanitation workers.

The Jordanian capital decided to swap the workers' orange uniforms for turquoise ones because the old garb was too reminiscent of the outfits worn by Islamic State captives in grisly beheading videos.

Among those killed by the extremists was a Jordanian fighter pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh. He wore orange when he was immolated by his captors while trapped in a cage. The video surfaced early last month, prompting widespread anger in Jordan and official vows of retaliation.

Municipal spokesman Mazen Farjeen said Monday that the city was responding to demands from the public and the pilot's family. The new uniforms will be phased in, starting March 20, he said.

The Amman municipality's decision "was received with tremendous relief in my family and in Jordan in general," said Jawad al-Kaseasbeh, a brother of the pilot, who used social media to lobby for the color change.

"It's the right of our children not to see this color in the streets," he said. "Our workers and our people deserve not to have to see this color which reminds them of the evil actions of Islamic State."

Jordan joined a U.S.-led military coalition against Islamic State in September. It raised its profile in February, after the video of the pilot's execution, threatening more airstrikes. Islamic State holds large areas of Syria and Iraq, both neighbors of Jordan.