US: ISIL did not shoot down coalition jet in Syria
Washington has termed the capture of a Jordanian pilot a result of an aircraft crash.
Washington has rejected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s claim that it shot down a coalition jet in Syria, and termed the capture of a Jordanian pilot a result of an aircraft crash.
The "evidence clearly indicates that ISIL did not down the aircraft as the terrorist organization is claiming," the U.S. Central Command said in a statement Wednesday.
"The Jordanians are highly-respected and valued partners, and their pilots and crews have performed exceptionally well over the course of this campaign. We strongly condemn the actions of ISIL which has taken captive the downed pilot. We will support efforts to ensure his safe recovery, and will not tolerate ISIL's attempts to misrepresent or exploit this unfortunate aircraft crash for their own purposes," the statement said.
General Lloyd J. Austin III, the commander of U.S. Central Command was quoted in the statement, who oversees all coalition military operations in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier Wednesday, the Jordanian army confirmed that one of its warplanes crashed in Syria and its pilot was captured.
"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.
Photos of the captured pilot, Moaz al-Kasasba, 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 U.S. is leading an international coalition, which includes Jordan, France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia, and has carried out numerous airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
The U.S. and partner nations have carried out more than 1,300 air strikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria since operations began in August, according to the force.
Last Modified: 2014-12-25 10:15:59
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