IS captures Jordanian pilot of downed jet

IS captures Jordanian pilot of downed jet

The Jordanian army Wednesday said one of its pilots has been captured by the Islamic State (IS) after a war plane crashed near Syria's al-Raqqa province while participating in an anti-terror coalition air strike, media reports said.

The Sunni radical group earlier said it had shot down the jet with a heat-seeking missile near Raqqa city in northern Syria, Xinhua reported citing the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV channel. 

The pilot was part of a group of Jordanian fighter jets conducting a military mission against the IS terrorist group.

"Jordan holds the Islamic State accountable for the safety of the pilot and preserving his life," the army said in a statement.

Relatives of the captured pilot, Mouath Kasasbeh, called on the authorities to take efforts to secure his release.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed the report citing its network of activists. It said the IS had captured "an Arab pilot prisoner after shooting his plane down with an anti-aircraft missile near the city of Raqqa", according to BBC.

The pro-IS Raqqa Media Centre later posted a photo on its Facebook page showing armed men taking the pilot out of what appeared to be a lake or river.

The pilot was identified as Flt. Lt. Moaz Youssef al-Kasasbeh. He was shown bleeding from the mouth.

The US-led anti-terror coalition has been striking IS positions in Syria since September.
Many Arab countries, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have taken part in the coalition against the IS.

Wednesday's incident marks the first downing of a foreign war jet by the IS over Syria, SOHR said.

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