The Jordanian fighter pilot burned to death by Islamic State militants in Syria two months ago was not shot down by anti-aircraft fire, Yediot Achronot reported Sunday, but by a missile mistakenly fired by United Arab Emirates warplanes flying cover.
Commanding the UAE flight was the first and only female combat pilot, Major Mariam al-Mansouri, who was grounded after the incident.
Smadar Peri, an Israeli reporter with extensive contacts in Jordan, attributed the story to Safi al-Kasabeh, father of the downed pilot, Moaz al-Kasabeh. A day after being briefed on the incident by the Jordanian chief of staff, she wrote, the father told local reporters, “Moaz was downed by friendly fire”. The father noted that the four Jordanian F-16s participating in the attack on Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in northern Syria, were part of a formation that included UAE warplanes, and that Maj. Mansouri was in overall command.