Jordan says Islamic State militants capture pilot; first coalition serviceman to fall into IS hands

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 24, 2014 at 2:01 p.m.



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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Islamic State militants have captured a Jordanian pilot after his warplane crashed in Syria while carrying out airstrikes today.

Activists say the plane went down near the city of Raqqa, the group's de facto capital. The Raqqa Media Center has published a photograph said to be of the pilot being pulled by gunmen out of what appears to be a lake.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Jordan's military said only that the warplane went down in Syria. A coalition official told The Associated Press that there were no immediate indications it was shot down.

Jordan's information minister had said his country believed the plane was shot down, but added that it was "difficult to confirm."

The Jordanian pilot is the first foreign military member to fall into the extremists' hands since U.S.-led coalition launched its bombing campaign against the group months ago.

%@AP Links

APPHOTO BEI101: This image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, which monitors events in territory controlled by Islamic State militants with the permission of the extremist group, shows militants with a captured pilot, center, wearing a white shirt in Raqqa, Syria, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014. Islamic State group militants captured a Jordanian pilot, Mu'ath Safi Yousef al-Kaseasbeh, after his warplane went down in Syria, Jordan said Wednesday, the first such capture since the international coalition's air campaign against the group began. The pilot's family confirmed that it is al-Kaseasbeh shown in the image. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center) (24 Dec 2014)

<<APPHOTO BEI101 (12/24/14)££

APPHOTO BEI102: This image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, which monitors events in territory controlled by Islamic State militants with the permission of the extremist group, shows militants with a captured pilot, center right, wearing a white shirt in Raqqa, Syria, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014. Islamic State group militants captured a Jordanian pilot, Mu'ath Safi Yousef al-Kaseasbeh, after his warplane went down in Syria, Jordan said Wednesday, the first such capture since the international coalition's air campaign against the group began. The pilot's family confirmed that it is al-Kaseasbeh shown in the image. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center) (24 Dec 2014)

<<APPHOTO BEI102 (12/24/14)££

APPHOTO BEI103: This image posted by the Raqqa Media Center, which monitors events in territory controlled by Islamic State militants with the permission of the extremist group, shows a photograph of the Jordanian military identity card of a pilot identifying him as Mu'ath Safi Yousef al-Kaseasbeh in Raqqa, Syria, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014. Islamic State group militants captured al-Kaseasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, after his warplane went down in Syria, Jordan said Wednesday, the first such capture since the international coalition's air campaign against the group began. The pilot's family confirmed al-Kaseasbeh is shown in a series of images released by the Raqqa Media Center. (AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center) (24 Dec 2014)

<<APPHOTO BEI103 (12/24/14)££

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The Associated Press

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