Members of the Islamic State released a new interview with captive Jordanian pilot Mu'ath Safi al-Kaseasbeh, who was reportedly taken hostage on Wednesday, Dec. 24.
"We entered the region of ar-Raqqah to sweep the area, then the striker jets entered to begin their attack," Kaseasbeh told Dabiq, the Islamic State's English-language magazine. "My plane was struck by a heat-seeking missile. I heard and felt its hit. The other Jordanian pilot in the mission, the first lieutenant pilot Saddam Mardini, contacted me from a participating jet and told me that I was struck and that fire was coming out of the rear nozzle of my engine."
Kaseasbeh then said he ejected from the plane, which was leaving its flight path. He landed in the Furat River, where he was captured by soldiers of ISIS. When asked what his mission was, Kaseasbeh said that he was ordered to destroy anti-aircraft positions.
"They will kill me," the pilot said after being asked what his fate will likely be.
The United States has denied that ISIS shot down the aircraft, and Gen. Lloyd Austin said the U.S. will not tolerate "attempts to misrepresent or exploit this unfortunate aircraft crash for their own purposes."
Kaseasbeh's father, Safi Yousef, has spoken out to plead with ISIS officials for his son's release. He appealed to the organization's religious beliefs.
"I direct a message to our generous brothers of the Islamic State in Syria to host my son, the pilot Mu'ath, with generous hospitality. I ask God that their hearts are gathered together with love, and that he is returned to his family, wife and mother. We are all Muslims," Safi told reporters in the Jordanian capital of Amman.
One website reported that ISIS sent out a tweet asking for ways to kill Kaseasbeh, using the hashtag #SuggestaWaytoKilltheJordanianPilotPig. So far, according to Vocative, the hashtag has received over 1,000 retweets, showing its popularity. One response, allegedly posted by a Syrian woman, says to kill the pilot "with impalement, not with a mercy shooting or a mercy knife."