WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2015 —
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in a statement released today, extended his deepest condolences to the family of Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot First Lieutenant Moaz al-Kassasbeh, who “was brutally murdered after being taken captive by [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] terrorists.”
Hagel said the “horrific, savage killing is yet another example of ISIL's contempt for life itself.”
The United States and its military “stand steadfast alongside our Jordanian friends and partners,” Hagel said. “Jordan remains a pillar of our global coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, and this act of despicable barbarity only strengthens our shared resolve. We send our thoughts and prayers to Lieutenant al-Kassasbeh's comrades, loved ones, and all Jordanians as we join them in mourning this tragic loss.”
U.S. Central Command Statement
Also in a statement issued today, the chief of Tampa, Florida-based U.S. Central Command condemned al-Kasasbeh’s murder at the hands of ISIL terrorists.
“U.S. Central Command strongly condemns ISIL's savage murder of Jordanian pilot, Moath al-Kasasbeh. This vicious act is yet another example of ISIL or ‘Daesh's’ brutality and warped ideology,” Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III said in his statement.
“First and foremost,” Austin added, “our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Al-Kasasbeh, he said, served his country courageously and honorably as an important member of the counter-ISIL coalition.
Austin said he’d spoken with General Mashal al-Zaben, chief of staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces, “and assured him that we stand with our Jordanian partners and together we will fight this barbaric enemy until it is defeated.”