ISIS militants captured the pilot of a Jordanian fighter plane while the pilot was reportedly assisting in U.S.-led airstrikes over Syria.
According to the Daily Mail, the Raqqua Media Center “published a photograph said to be of the pilot - in a white shirt, naked from the waist down and sopping wet - being pulled by gunmen out of what appeared to be a lake.” The aircraft was reportedly shot down over the Syrian city of Raqqa.
“One of our warplanes crashed,” Jordan’s military said in a statement. “The pilot was taken hostage.”
This is the first foreign soldier to be captured by the terrorist group since the U.S.-led air campaign began. Jordan, a country that has faced criticism from ISIS sympathizers for its involvement in the airstrikes, said in their statement that the group and “those who support it” would be responsible for the pilot’s safety.
The Syria Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based activist group, claimed to have confirmation that the aircraft was shot down, “either by a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile or by heavy machinegun fire.” If proven to be true, the Jordanian warplane would be the first of the coalition’s aircrafts to be shot down by the terrorist organization.
In addition to photos of the pilot being taken by extremists, the Raqqa Media Center also posted a photo of his I.D. card, which identified him as Mu'ath Safi Yousef al-Kaseasbeh. A relative has reportedly confirmed that al-Kaseasbeh is, in fact, the pilot being held by ISIS in the photos released.
Jordan is one of four Arab countries that are participating in anti-ISIS airstrikes, the others being Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.