ISIS burns alive Jordanian pilot it kept hostage
The Islamic State has released a video, purportedly showing Moath al-Kasasbeh, the Jordanian pilot captured in December, being burned alive. The Jordanian government had pleaded with IS to release the hostage in exchange for a captured terrorist.
A member of al-Kasasbeh’s family has been informed by the head of the Jordanian armed forces that he has been killed, Reuters reported. According to national television, Jordan now believes he was executed as far back as January 3, exactly one month ago, though the government has refused to directly confirm the news to Western news agencies.
The video itself, which was posted on social media, but is not being shared by RT for ethical reasons, appears to have been a carefully staged production, shot from several angles, and sound tracked with religious hymns. It shows al-Kasasbeh being led out into a square in front of a squadron of masked men, before being placed in a cage. A rope lying outside the cage is then lit up, and the hostage is engulfed in flames. The execution is in contrast with the customary beheadings, practiced by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).
Al-Kasasbeh was captured after his plane crashed over an IS-controlled part of Syria, following a bombing mission on December 24. The US-led air strikes in the region since September have helped stem IS expansion through Syria and Iraq.