05:44 GMT01 October 2020
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    The Jordanian government has rejected the claim that the fighter jet which crashed on Wednesday was shot down by the Islamic State, although the jihadists claim otherwise.

    MOSCOW, December 26 (Sputnik) –Jordan's military denied claims that one of its fighter jets, which crashed in Syria, was shot by the Islamic State, after the pilot was captured by the jihadists, reports AFP.

    "First indications show that the crash of the Jordanian military plane in the area of the Syrian city of Raqa was not caused by Daesh fire," a military official said using another name for IS.

    "But since the wreckage of the plane cannot be reached and since its pilot is not present, we cannot at this moment determine the exact cause of the crash”, reports AFP.

    The captured Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot is 26-year-old Maaz al-Kassasbeh; he was taken by IS on Wednesday after his F-16 jet crashed while on a mission against the jihadists over northern Syria.

    Jordanian Information Minister Mohammad Momani told al-Arabiya TV that a “missile fired from the ground” caused the plane to go down. He added that “efforts to rescue the pilot were unsuccessful.” He stressed that he hoped “intelligence work would succeed in gaining the pilot's release.”

    The US military has also rejected the jihadists' claim to have hit the jet with an anti-aircraft missile, saying "evidence clearly suggests that ISIL (IS) did not down the aircraft".

    CENTCOM commander, General Lloyd J. Austin III, said, "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,” reports Voice of America.

    According to the US Department of Defense, partner nations Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been responsible for 65 airstrikes in Syria. The United States has conducted 553 strikes, reported Voice of America.

    The airstrikes are part of the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve, which purposes to defeat the Islamic State. 

    Related:

    Jordanian Government Pledges to Secure Release of Pilot Captured by IS
    Parents of Captured Jordanian Pilot Devastated: Reports
    Jordan's Army Calls on Media Not to Publish Captured Pilot-Related Material
    Russia Approves Draft Agreement on Building First Nuclear Plant in Jordan
    Ban Ki-moon Calls on Islamic State to Treat Jordanian Pilot Lawfully
    Tags:
    Daesh, military, air crash, kidnapping, US military, Jordan
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