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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, July 17, 2018

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Islamic State releases video of Jordanian pilot being burnt alive

Pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh being burnt alive

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AMMAN - In another show of its brutality, the Islamic State released a video on Tuesday purporting to show captured Jordanian military pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh being burnt alive inside a cage. Jordan has vowed to avenge his death.

The 22-minute video, produced by ISIS' official al Furqan media company, shows a man resembling airman Kasaesbeh dressed in an orange jumpsuit standing in a black cage before being set ablaze.

Jordanian military spokesman Mamdouh Al Ameri said al-Kaseasbeh was "assassinated" a month ago, on January 3.

"Those who doubted the atrocities committed by ISIS now have the proof," Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said on state TV. "Those who doubted Jordan's power will soon see the proof as well. (Al-Kasaesbeh's) blood will not be shed in vain."

In Amman, a crowd hit the streets, calling for revenge.

"With the blood and self," they chanted, "we are sacrificing ourselves for Muath."

"The revenge will be as big as the calamity that has hit Jordan," army spokesman Colonel Mamdouh al Ameri said in a televised statement. The pilot was captured in December when his plane crashed over Syria.

A government spokesman said in a statement that Jordan would deliver a "strong, earth-shaking and decisive" response.

Jordan also confirmed that it will execute a woman on death row over a failed bombing on Wednesday.

"The sentence of death pending on... Iraqi Sajida al-Rishawi will be carried out at dawn," the security official said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Rishawi, an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber, was condemned to death for her participation in deadly attacks in Amman in 2005. The IS had offered to spare the life of al-Kassasbeh if she were released.

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the latest video, if authentic, is "just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization."

"It, I think, will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of a global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated," he said.

"It also just indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they're operating off of, it's bankrupt."

In the video, al-Kassasbeh is interviewed, describing the mission he was due to carry out before his jet crashed. The video also showed footage of the aftermath of air strikes, with people trying to remove civilians from debris, said Reuters

A man resembling al-Kassasbeh is shown inside the cage with his clothes dampened, apparently with flammable liquid, and one of the masked fighters holds a torch, setting alight a line of fuel which leads into the cage.

The man is set ablaze and kneels to the ground, says Reuters.

Fighters then pour debris, including broken masonry, over the cage which a bulldozer then flattens, with the body still inside. The video showed a desert setting similar to previous videos of killings.

According to the Jordan Times, al-Kaseasbeh, 27, held the rank of lieutenant in Jordan's military.

One of eight children, he comes from Karak governorate in Jordan and graduated from King Hussein Air College, the newspaper says.

At the time of his capture, his father, Safi al-Kaseasbeh, told the Jordan Times that his son was "a very modest and religious person" who memorized the Quran and "was never harmful to anyone."

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