UPDATE: Kasasbeh burnt alive 'one month ago' by IS

تم نشره في Tue 3 February / Feb 2015. 08:37 PM - آخر تعديل في Tue 3 February / Feb 2015. 10:15 PM
  • Lt Moaz al-Kasasbeh had been held hostage since his plane came down on 24 December
  • Relatives of late Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh hold pictures of him as they join students during a rally calling for his release, at Jordan University in Amman February 3, 2015 (Reuters)

AMMAN - Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State Muath al-Kasasbeh was shown killed in a video on Tuesday.

His Majesty King Abdullah cut short his trip to Washington and is set to return to Amman tonight.

Jordan Armed Forces promised a "proportional" response to IS "tragedy".

Jordan national TV reported Kasasbeh was killed one month ago, on the 3rd of January 2015.

The video posted online on Tuesday was distributed via a Twitter account known as a source for IS propaganda, shows a man standing in a cage engulfed in flames.

Mohammad Al Momani, Minister of State for Media Affairs told Jordan TV IS was postponing Kasasbeh's release during the negotiations and "that's why Jordan had insisted on proof of life".

A relative of Lt Kasasbeh told Reuters news agency that the Jordanian armed forces had informed the family that he had been killed.

The BBC's Frank Gardner says that the video is clearly intended to shock, but it also reveals how much the coalition air strikes are damaging IS and how eager they are to weaken the coalition's resolve.

Jordan had been attempting to secure Lt Kasasbeh's release as part of a prisoner swap.

It had offered to free Sajida al-Rishawi, who is on death row in Jordan for her role in hotel bombings in Amman in 2005, in return for the release of Lt Kasasbeh.

Members of Lt Kasasbeh family had been gathering every day at a community centre not far from the royal palace in Amman.

The video emerged three days after a video appearing to show the dead body of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto by IS.

The pilot's fate has gripped Jordan and provoked rare protests over the government's handling of the case.

U.S. President Barack Obama said the video, if real, would redouble the determination of a U.S.-led alliance to degrade and destroy Islamic State. He said it would be another sign of the "viciousness and barbarity" of the militants.

"Whatever ideology they're operating off of, it's bankrupt," Obama told reporters.

In the video, the burned man wore orange clothes similar to those worn by other foreign Islamic State captives who have been killed since a U.S.-led coalition started bombing the militants in July.

Islamic State has released videos showing the beheadings of several Western hostages and said that it has killed two Japanese captives.

The militants have come under increased military pressure from air strikes and a push by Kurdish and Iraqi troops to reverse their territorial gains in Iraq and Syria.

In the video, Kasaesbeh is interviewed, describing the mission he was due to carry out before his jet crashed. The video also showed footage of the aftermath of air strikes, with people trying to remove civilians from debris.

A man resembling Kasaesbeh is shown inside the cage with his clothes dampened, apparently with flammable liquid, and one of the masked fighters holds a torch, setting alight a line of fuel which leads into the cage.

The man is set ablaze and kneels to the ground.

Fighters then pour debris, including broken masonry, over the cage which a bulldozer then flattens, with the body still inside. The video showed a desert setting similar to previous videos of killings.

Jordan had been demanding the release of Kasaesbeh in exchange for an Iraqi woman Islamic State was seeking to swap for Japanese hostage Kenji Goto. The beheading of Goto, a veteran war reporter, was shown in a video released by Islamic State on Saturday.

 

The Iraqi woman, Sajida al-Rishawi, is jailed in Jordan for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed 60 people in the Jordanian capital Amman.

 

Shock and anger

In the town of al-Karak, where al-Kassasbeh, a member of a prominent tribe, hails, friends, family and supporters gathered to show their support and express anger at the the news of his death.

The video showing Kassasbeh's killing was produced by al-Furqan media, the official media wing of ISIL.

The video, which is 22 minutes and 34 seconds also called for the killing of other Jordanian pilots.

The 26-year-old First Lieutenant was taken hostage in ISIL's stronghold of Raqqa after his F-16 jet crashed.

ISIL members have claimed to have shot down Kassasbeh's plane with a heat-seeking missile.

The armed group that controls vast swathes of Syria and Iraq has been demanding the release of Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for Kassasbeh's life.

Rishawi has been held by Jordanian authorities since 2005, after being arrested and later sentenced to death "for conspiracy to carry out terror acts" after a triple bomb attack on the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman, the Jordanian capital.

Al Jazeera's el-Shamayleh, said that there have been reports that Rishawi and five other individuals on death row will be executed in response to the killing of Kassasbeh.

The convicts have already been reportedly moved to al-Suwaqa jail, where executions in Jordan are typically carried out, a family member of one of the convicts told our correspondent. (al-Ghad & Agencies)

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