Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that are fighting on the Northern Syria border have claimed to have shot down a Jordanian warplane in Raqqa and taken the pilot hostage. Jordan confirmed that one of its aircrafts crashed during a mission in the area but didn’t elaborate on the circumstances which led to it while the U.S refutes claims that it was shot down by ISIS.
ISIS said that the F-16 aircraft was brought down with a heat seeking missile. The Director of Britain based Syrian Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the missile used in the attack was taken from the Syrian rebels fighting President Assad. The extremists have a large stock of missiles, he said.
The pilot was identified, after the extremist group released his photos, as First Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh. The released photos show that he was captured alive. Jordan has released a statement citing that the group and its supporters will be held responsible for the pilot’s life and safety.
The extremist group has committed widespread atrocities in areas under its control, such as mass executions of captured soldiers and public beheadings of hostages including Western journalists and aid workers if its demands are not met.
U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged ISIS “to treat the pilot in accordance with international humanitarian laws” in a released statement.
Jordan is among the countries participating in the U.S led military campaign that has been striking positions of the ISIS after its militants declared territories in Syria and Iraq under its control as an Islamic state and Raqqa, in northern Syria, as its capital. Thousands of extremists are claimed to have been killed since the campaign started three months ago.