Jordanian Pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh was a 26-year-old first lieutenant in the Jordanian air force. He was captured on December 24 after his F-16 jet crashed while on a mission over northern Syria as part of the U.S. led coalition campaign against the jihadists.
He was the first pilot from the U.S.-led coalition battling the group to be captured. The Islamic State group released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the pilot being burned alive.
Jordanian state television confirmed the death and said Kaseasbeh had been killed on January 3, before the jihadists offered to spare his life and free a Japanese journalist in return for the release of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber held in Jordan.
According to BBC.com, Kaseasbeh was born in 1988 in the Jordanian city of Karak. He is one of eight children.
He graduated from King Hussein Air Force College and joined the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF). He qualified as an operational pilot in s2012 and joined the No 1 Squadron at Muwaffaq Salti Air Base.
Following militant demands, Jordan’s government had said it was willing to trade Sajida al-Rishawi, an al-Qaida prisoner, for the pilot, but that it wanted proof of life first. Al-Rishawi faces death in Jordan for her role in triple 2005 hotel bombings that killed 60 people.
Absentee funeral prayers were held for Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kaseasbeh on Wednesday in his hometown of Karak and in Jordan’s capital, Amman.
Muath’s father Safi and brother Jawdat attended the prayer ceremony in Karak, alongside officers from the Jordanian Air Force.
At his brother’s funeral prayers Jawdat Al-Kaseasbeh said the two prisoners, Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouly, were not worth his brothers shoes, adding that was the view of all of Jordan.
In the captial, Jordan’s Prime Minister, Abdullah Ensour, said absentee funeral prayers alongside thousands of worshippers at noon prayers in the Grand Husseini mosque.
Absentee prayers are performed when the body of the deceased is not in the mosque for the ceremony.
The pilot’s father has called on the government to avenge Muath, and officials threatened a tough response, as King Abdullah II, a staunch Western ally, rushed back to his kingdom from the US.
Story compiled with information from The Associated Press, Reuters and AFP.