U.S. search-and-rescue teams have been moving to northern Iraq after the killing of a Jordanian pilot who was burned to death in an ISIS video, U.S. officials said Thursday, a day after NBC News reported that the United Arab Emirates had suspended all combat air missions over Syria because of inadequate rescue capability.
The pilot, Lt. Muath al Kasasbeh, was on a bombing run over Syria in December when he was forced to eject near Raqqa, ISIS' self-proclaimed capital. Officials told NBC News that he was captured so quickly — "within minutes" — that a rescue wouldn't have been possible.
The UAE is part of a coalition with Jordan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia that has conducted 79 airstrikes in Syria. U.S. officials said the UAE military wanted search-and-rescue assets in northern Iraq — which could include combat air cover, helicopters and Osprey tilt-rotor helicopters — moved closer to Syria.
— Jim Miklaszewski