Militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured a Jordanian pilot after his warplane crashed while on a mission as a part of the U.S.-led coalition against the terror group.
The Jordanian military confirmed the crash and capture to news outlets Wednesday morning. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British monitoring group, said that ISIS militants used an anti-aircraft missile to shoot down the jet. But the Jordanian military statement didn’t mention how the plane crashed.
SITE, a terrorist monitoring service, said that ISIS published photos of militants with pieces of the downed plane. A pro-ISIS group also released photos purportedly showing militants with the captured pilot.
“Jordan holds the group [ISIS] and its supporters responsible for the safety of the pilot and his life,” the Jordanian army said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The pilot’s capture represents a strong blow to the U.S.-led airstrikes that have been keeping militants at bay and are the centerpiece of President Obama’s strategy to defeat ISIS. The militant group has released videos of its members brutally murdering Syrian soldiers, as well as American and British citizens.
In September, Obama announced a plan to combat ISIS that coupled airstrikes with cooperation from Arab ground troops. Obama has said Arab states must take a strong role in the coalition, and Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have all assisted in strikes targeting militant sites.