Raqqa, Syria – While conducting a joint airstrike on the Syrian city of Raqqa, a Jordanian pilot was captured by ISIS/ISIL forces after his plane crashed for unknown reasons. The pilot, identified as Moaz al-Kasasbeh of Jordan, was flying a US-built F-16 fighter jet and conducting airstrikes around the city targeting various Islamic State assets. The city of Raqqa has been the capital city of the Islamic State, and one of its best held strongholds in the region. The US and other nations will continue to carry out effective airstrikes against ISIS targets, regardless of the outcome of this scenario.
Islamic State Holds Jordanian Moaz al-Kasasbeh Captive After Capturing Pilot
The family of the pilot spoke out of Arabic television to plead with the captors of al-Kasasbeh, stating that he was just a soldier carrying out his orders, and reiterating that he was a faithful Muslim as well. To date most of those executed by the Islamic State have been non-Muslims that they had captured and coerced into converting to Islam. The US and Jordanian governments are holding ISIS and their soldiers accountable for the well-being of this downed war fighter, who should be afforded the rights granted by the Geneva Convention. It is unlikely that ISIS will simply hand their new prisoner over, and it is more likely that they will make a brutal example of him to hopefully deter further airstrikes.
ISIS soldiers claim that they shot down al-Kasasbeh’s F-16, but evidence gathered so far by investigators do not support that claim. If shot down, this would be the first of the US-led war planes to be shot down since the airstrikes began a few months back. Investigators are leaning towards pilot error or equipment malfunction as the leading cause of his plane’s crash. They are also not ruling out the possibility that al-Kasasbeh may have crash landed his plane in an effort to defect to the Islamic State.
Islamic State Holds Jordanian Moaz al-Kasasbeh Captive After Capturing Pilot.