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ISIL shoots down jet, captures Arab pilot in Syria

ISIL shoots down jet, captures Arab pilot in Syria
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have shot down a coalition jet and captured an Arab pilot in northern Syria’s Raqqa city. AMMANThe Islamic State of Iraq...
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have shot down a coalition jet and captured an Arab pilot in northern Syria’s Raqqa city. AMMAN The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant shot down a coalition jet and captured an Arab pilot Wednesday in northern Syria’s Raqqa city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “ISIL has shot down a jet, believed to be part of the international coalition, during airstrikes on Raqqa city,” the Syrian Observatory for human rights said on its website. The observatory said the terrorists "have arrested an Arab national pilot, where they shot down his warplane by an anti- aircraft missile near the city of al- Raqqa.” The ISIL’s media office in Raqqa also confirmed the incident and said the captured pilot was a Jordanian whose name is Moaz al-Kasasba. The fate of the pilot remains unknown. Photos of the captured pilot were also shared on social media by pro-ISIL users, however, their authenticity could not be independently verified. The photos show a pilot apparently in good health condition. The Jordanian and the U.S authorities are yet to make any statement about the incident. ISIL-controlled Raqqa has been targeted several times by Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad regime and the U.S.-led international coalition. The militant group has captured large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, declaring what it calls a cross-border Islamic caliphate, killing thousands of people and displacing millions more in the process. The U.S. is leading an international coalition that has carried out numerous airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria since the militant group took over Mosul, in northern Iraq, in June. Jordan army confirms pilot's capture by ISIL The Jordanian army on Wednesday confirmed that one of its warplanes had been shot down in Syria and its pilot captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militant group. "As our jet fighters were carrying out a mission against hotbeds of the ISIL terrorist group in Syria's Raqqa city, one of our warplanes crashed and its pilot taken hostage by ISIL," the army said in a statement, quoting an unnamed military source. "Jordan holds the ISIL and its supporters responsible for the pilot's safety," it added. The ISIL had said earlier that its fighters had shot down a military jet and captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasba in Raqqa. Photos of the captured pilot were shared on social media by pro-ISIL users, although their authenticity could not be independently verified. The photos show a pilot apparently in good health. ISIL-held Raqqa has been targeted several times by an international anti-ISIL coalition led by the U.S. Over the summer, the militant group captured large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, declaring the captured territories an "Islamic caliphate" and killing thousands of people – and displacing millions more – in the process. The U.S. is leading an international coalition that has carried out numerous airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria since the militant group captured the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in June. Father of ISIL-held Jordan pilot hopes for his safe return The father of a Jordanian pilot captured in Syria on Wednesday by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group voiced hope that his son would return home safe and sound. "I received the news from a senior Jordanian Air Force official who reaffirmed that the army had already started efforts to rescue my son," Safi al-Kasasba, father of captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasba, told The Anadolu Agency by phone. "Officials confirmed that King Abdullah II is personally keen on rescuing Moaz and returning him safe and sound," he added. The Jordanian army had earlier confirmed that one of its warplanes had been shot down in Syria and its pilot, Moaz al-Kasasba, captured by the ISIL. Photos of the captured pilot were shared on social media by pro-ISIL users, although their authenticity could not be independently verified. The photos show a pilot apparently in good health. The elder al-Kasasba said that the family had seen the photos published by local and international media outlets before officials had confirmed the pilot's capture. "He got married only five months ago. I wish for his safe return to his wife and family," he added. This summer, the militant group captured large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, declaring the captured territories an "Islamic caliphate" and killing thousands of people – and displacing millions more – in the process. The U.S. is leading an international coalition that has carried out numerous airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria since the militant group captured the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in June. Iraq's ISIL-held city of Raqqa has been targeted several times by an international anti-ISIL coalition led by the U.S.
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