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Jordanian Plane Goes Down Over Syria; Islamic State Captures Pilot

Update at 2:32 p.m.

Jordan's military says one of its pilots has been captured by militants of the Islamic State after his plane crashed in northern Syria.

In a statement, the Jordanian military said the Islamic State "bears responsibility" for the safety of the pilot, identified as Flight Lt. Moaz Youssef al-Kasasbeh.

U.S. military officials tell NPR they believe the plane wasn't shot down by ISIS, and they're still working to determine what brought the plane down. That statement came after an earlier report by The Associated Press that cited a Jordanian official saying the plane had been shot down by "ground fire."

The militants, on social media, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group, said Kasasbeh's aircraft was shot down with an anti-aircraft missile in the province of Raqqa. It is the first coalition aircraft shot down by the group that controls large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

Jordan is part of a U.S-led coalition that is carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL. The Arab members of the coalition include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar provides logistical support. Other members include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the U.K.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.