Jordan confirms capture of pilot by Daesh in Syria
Daesh militants posted photos online of the Jordanian pilot's capture Wednesday. (Al Bawaba/File)
Jordanian Royal Air Force pilot was captured by the Islamic State (IS) Wednesday after his warplane went down in northeastern Syria, the Jordan Armed Forces – Arab Army (JAF) said in a statement.
Images of the arrest of Lieutenant Muath Kasasbeh, 27, from Karak Governorate, appeared on social media after his capture by the IS terrorists as the government pledged to continue war on terrorism in defending Islam.
In the statement, JAF said the fighter went down during a mission against IS in Raqqa northeast Syria Wednesday morning and the pilot was taken as a “hostage”.
Jordan holds the terrorist group of Islamic State, better known with its Arabic acronym “Daesh”, accountable for the safety of the pilot, adding that the terror organisation “does not hide its terrorist plots, as it has carried out numerous criminal acts and destruction targeting Muslims and non-Muslims in Syria and Iraq”.
Muath, who has three brothers and four sisters is a graduate from King Hussein Air College, according to his relatives.
“I call on those who arrested him and on all those who have powers and authorities to intervene to secure the release of my son Muath,” Safi Kasasbeh, his father, told The Jordan Times Wednesday.
“Muath is a very modest and religious person. He memorises the Koran and he was never harmful to anyone,” the father added.
Hassan Kasasbeh, a cousin of the pilot, told The Jordan Times over the phone, that “The Morale Guidance Department at the Jordan Armed Forces informed us around 9:00am today [Wednesday] that Muath’s plane went down and he is in the hands of Daesh fighters in Syria.”
Marwan Kasasbeh, another cousin of Muath, confirmed the news of his arrest, saying Muath informed him a few days ago that it was his second mission in the campaign against IS after Jordan joined the US-led international coalition to fight the IS in September.
“We call for exerting all efforts possible to secure his release. His entire family is deeply saddened by the news,” said Marwan over the phone.
Commenting on the capture, Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani voiced solidarity with the pilot’s family, describing Kasasbeh as a hero.
The minister added that all Jordanians stand behind the Jordanian army in its pursuit to protect the homeland and defend the nation.
“The war on terrorism is ongoing and our battle against it is to defend the moderate faith of Islam,” the minister said in remarks to The Jordan Times.
The capture of the Jordanian pilot triggered angry reactions on social media with Jordanians expressing their sorrow for this incident.