ISIS "Shoots Down" Jordan Plane Mid-Carrying Out Airstrikes Against The Islamic State
For the first time since a handful of international parties banded together to strike ISIS, a plane participating in anti-ISIS airstrikes in Syria has reportedly been shot down by the so-called Islamic State and the pilot captured. The captured plane and pilot are from Jordan, and in a televised statement, the Jordanian army said, "Jordan holds the group and its supporters responsible for the safety of the pilot and his life."
ISIS posted photos of the captured pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, on one of its Twitter pages. The photographs show a man wearing a white shirt being pulled out of a lake by what appears to be Islamic State fighters, and being flanked by ISIS gunmen in Syria. The captured pilot's uncle, who is a former Jordanian army major, identified his nephew and asked the Air Force to investigate the case, according to CNN. ISIS has not yet made any official threats against al-Kasasbeh.
An international coalition led by the United States has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria since September. While they have been successful in ending the lives of a handful of top-tier ISIS leaders, a German reporter allowed a 10-day stay with ISIS reported this week that the group is "much stronger and much more dangerous" than the West realizes. (The Washington Post points out that the journalist in question, Jürgen Todenhöfer, has a "complicated reputation" in Germany, to say the least.)
This is the first time ISIS has apparently fought back against the coalition's hits.