AMMAN (AFP) – Jordan’s military said on Friday that it was still awaiting proof that a warplane pilot threatened with execution by the Islamic State group is safe.
IS had vowed to kill F-16 airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh by sunset on Thursday unless Amman handed over an Iraqi female militant in return for captured Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
Jordan has demanded evidence that the pilot who crashed in Syria on December 24 is still alive before freeing would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi who is on death row.
“Jordan has so far received no information that proves the pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh is safe and sound,” military spokesman Mamdoh al-Ameri told AFP.
The Jordanian government has offered to free Sajida al-Rishawi, who was convicted for her part in triple-hotel bombings in the Jordanian capital in 2005 that killed 60 people, if IS releases Kassasbeh.
While IS threatened Maaz al-Kassasbeh’s life, it was not clear from its latest message if the group was ready to free him as part of an exchange.