IS shows images of captured Jordanian pilot in Syria

DAMASCUS, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) — The Islamic State (IS) militants posted online photos purporting to show the captured Jordanian pilot, whose war jet was downed by the IS over Syria’s northern province of al-Raqqa earlier on Wednesday, according to pro-government online media.

The IS posted at least three photos of the captured pilot, who was identified as First Lieutenant Muaz Kasasbeh. The first photo showed Kasasbeh plucked out of what seemed like a lake by four IS fighters. The Jordanian officer was conscious and wearing his underwear only.

The other two photos showed Kasasbeh dragged by a group of the IS militants on a dirt road, some of the fighters were looking at the sky, apparently anticipating an airstrike.

Opposition reports said the IS downed the Jordanian war jet with a thermal missile while it was flying on a low altitude.

The Jordanian war jet was taking part in the strikes against the IS in al-Raqqa, as a part of the U.S.-led anti-terror coalition, which was joined by Arab countries such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The IS said in an online post that after the crash of the war jet, Kasasbeh ejected himself and landed on an area in al-Raqqa where he threatened a shepherd into taking off his cloth to use it as a disguise. However, later details leading to the capture of the pilot in a lake were not revealed.

Wednesday’s incident marks the first downing of a foreign war jet by the IS over Syria since the U.S.-led anti-terror coalition started its airstrikes in Syria last September.

The Jordan Armed Forces confirmed the downing of the warplane and the capture of the pilot, saying in a statement that « Jordan holds the Islamic State accountable for the safety of the pilot and preserving his life. »

Relatives of the captured pilot called on the Jordanian authorities to take efforts to secure his release.

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