Jordan renews offer for pilot as Islamic State purportedly kills Japanese hostage

Written by admin on 24/07/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

WATCH ABOVE: Islamic State militants have released another video claiming they killed a hostage. This time the victim was Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. CBS News’ Charlie D’Agata reports.

AMMAN, Jordan – Jordan renewed an offer Sunday to swap an al-Qaida prisoner for a fighter pilot held captive by the Islamic State group, a day after a video purportedly showed the militants beheading a Japanese hostage.

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The fates of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto previously had been linked. The video of the beheading made no mention of the pilot, raising fears for the lieutenant’s life.

READ MORE: Online video purports to show Islamic State group beheading Japanese journalist

Islamic State group last week demanded the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an al-Qaida prisoner who faces death by hanging for her role in triple hotel bombings in Jordan in 2005.

Jordan offered last week to release her for the pilot, but the militants didn’t say at the time if they were considering such a deal. An audio message last week, purportedly from the Islamic State group, only said the pilot would be killed if al-Rishawi was not released Thursday.

Members of Al-Kaseasbeh, the tribe of Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by the Islamic State group militants, light candles by posters with his picture in his home town of Karak, Jordan, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.

Nasser Nasser / AP Photo

The deadline passed after Jordan said it cannot free her without proof the pilot is alive. Late Saturday, the video purportedly showing Goto’s beheading was released.

Government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani told The Associated Press on Sunday that “we are still ready to hand over” al-Rishawi in return for the pilot.

Earlier, the state-run Petra news agency quoted him as saying Jordan is working to confirm the pilot “is still alive and ensure his release and return to Jordan.”

READ MORE: New deadline approaches in Islamic State hostage crisis

Al-Momani also said his country spared no effort to free Goto.

Relatives of the pilot, meanwhile, said they want the government to be more open with them about efforts to free him.

“We want the government to tell us the truth,” said Yassin Rawashda, an uncle of the pilot. He said the family is not demanding a full briefing, but wants to hear if release efforts are headed “in a positive direction or not.”

The pilot’s father, Safi al-Kaseasbeh, said he is worried, but still is putting his faith in the government.

“Of course, I’m concerned,” he said by telephone. “This is my son. I’m always concerned about him and any development makes me more concerned.”

Jordan is reportedly conducting indirect, behind-the-scenes negotiations through tribal leaders in neighbouring Iraq.

Al-Kaseasbeh was captured in December when his F-16 crashed near the de facto capital of the Islamic State group. The militants control about a third of both Syria and neighbouring Iraq in a self-declared caliphate.

READ MORE: Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Kobani, blame airstrikes

Jordan, a staunch Western ally, is part of a U.S.-led military coalition that has carried out airstrikes against Islamic State group targets since September.

King Abdullah II says the campaign against the extremists is a battle over values, but participation in the airstrikes is not popular among Jordanians. The hostage crisis has prompted more vocal criticism of the government position.

Associated Press writers Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, and Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.

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