Muath al-Kasaesbeh: The Jordanian pilot burned to death by Isis

The 26-year-old man was called a 'hero' by King Abdullah

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The Independent Online

Muath al-Kasaesbeh was the Jordanian lieutenant captured and torched to death on camera by Islamist extremists.

Prominent family

Born in Al Karak in May 1988, he was one of eight children and from the prominent Bararsheh tribe. His father, Safi al-Kasaesbeh, is a retired professor of education and his uncle is a major-general in the Jordanian army. Al-Kasaesbeh trained at the King Hussein Air College and graduated in 2009.

Pious

The pilot's family maintain that the Sunni Muslim was a devout man. “My brother is a pious man who prays and fasts and he always flies with his Qur'an with him,” brother Jawwad Kasaesbeh told a radio station in Jordan.

Early concerns

Al-Kasaesbeh was a member of the No. 1 squadron at the Muwaffaq Salti Air Base, and took part in the bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. However, his family weren't happy about it.

“I wasn’t OK with it at all. And all Jordanians strongly condemn our participation in the coalition,” his father told NPR. “Our army is for defending Jordan. It’s not supposed to spread throughout the world like American forces.”

 

Family appeal

The pilot's plane crashed near Raqqa, Syria, in December, and he was filmed being dragged out of water by his captors. Al-Kasaesbeh 's father released a heartfelt statement, begging for his son's release on December 25.

“I direct a message to our generous brothers of the Islamic State in Syria: to host my son, the pilot Muath, with generous hospitality," he said. "I ask God that their hearts are gathered together with love, and that he is returned to his family, wife and mother.”

Wife's protest

Anwar al-Tarawneh, who married al-Kasaesbeh in July, campaigned for him to come home by carrying placards saying: "We are all Muath". She was photographed weeping as she demonstrated for him to be released.

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