ISIS burns captive Jordanian pilot alive

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The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has burned alive a Jordanian pilot captured by the militant group in December.

{mosads}ISIS released a video showing the execution on Tuesday. The video shows Moaz al-Kasasbeh locked in a cage and being lit on fire.

“Today, we join the people of Jordan in grieving the loss of one of their own, First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh, cruelly and brutally killed by ISIL terrorists,” President Obama said in a statement, using the administration’s preferred acronym for the terror group.

“Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh’s dedication, courage, and service to his country and family represent universal human values that stand in opposition to the cowardice and depravity of ISIL, which has been so broadly rejected around the globe,” he said.

“As we grieve together, we must stand united, respectful of his sacrifice to defeat this scourge. Today, the coalition fights for everyone who has suffered from ISIL’s inhumanity. It is their memory that invests us and our coalition partners with the undeterred resolve to see ISIL and its hateful ideology banished to the recesses of history,” he added. 

The White House said earlier that it was working to confirm the authenticity of the video.

“The United States strongly condemns ISIL’s actions and we call for the immediate release of all those held captive by ISIL,” said National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan. “We stand in solidarity with the government of Jordan and the Jordanian people.”

Vice President Biden offered condolences to al-Kasabeh’s family and the people of Jordan during a meeting with King Abdullah in Washington and called for the release of all ISIS hostages.

“The Vice President also reinforced America’s ironclad support for Jordan and his appreciation of Jordan’s contributions to the coalition against ISIL,” the White House said in a statement.

Obama and King Abdullah are slated to meet at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.

The video, which is in Arabic, also shows TV news footage of Jordanian officials.

Jordan is participating in the U.S.-led airstrike campaign against ISIS, which began last year.

Al-Kasasbeh’s plane went down on Dec. 24 in Syria while flying a mission against ISIS.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. military stands “steadfast alongside our Jordanian friends and partners.”

“Jordan remains a pillar of our global coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, and this act of despicable barbarity only strengthens our shared resolve,” he said.

Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command, pledged support to Jordan’s military.

“I spoke with General Mashal al-Zaben, chief of staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces and assured him that we stand with our Jordanian partners and together we will fight this barbaric enemy until it is defeated,” Austin said in a statement Tuesday.

Jordanian officials were awaiting word of the fate of al-Kasasbeh after agreeing last week to swap him for a female prisoner.

Hope began to fade, however, after ISIS announced the beheading of a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, over the weekend. ISIS beheaded Haruna Yukawa, the other Japanese captive, last week. 

Jordanian state media reported on Tuesday, however, that the pilot was killed on Jan. 3 without providing other details.

— Justin Sink contributed to this report, which was last updated at 3:18 p.m.

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