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Coalition steps up bombing of the Islamic State "capital"

The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, said it would station a squadron of F-16 warplanes in Jordan.

File Photo
File Photo

COALITION WARPLANES POUNDED a stronghold of the Islamic State group in Syria today amid uncertainty over the fate of a US hostage the jihadists claim was killed in an earlier raid.

The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, said it would station a squadron of F-16 warplanes in Jordan to support it in strikes against the IS who burned alive a captured Jordanian airman.

The parents of American Kayla Jean Mueller said they were “hopeful” she was still alive, after IS said she had been buried under rubble following a strike by a Jordanian warplane on their self-proclaimed capital Raqa.

The United States said there was no proof that the 26-year-old aid worker from Arizona had been killed.

Mueller’s parents appealed to her captors to contact them and for her safe return, in a statement carried by NBC News.

“This news leaves us concerned, yet, we are still hopeful that Kayla is alive. We have sent you a private message and ask that you respond to us privately,” said Carl and Marsha Mueller.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the US-led coalition fighting IS bombarded the Raqa area for a second consecutive day.

POLITICS IslamicState This graphic maps the territory held and lost by Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq. Source: PA

‘Sick trick’

Jordan — still reeling from the brutal murder of pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh — rejected the jihadists’ claim that its warplanes killed Mueller, calling it an “old and sick trick” to deter coalition strikes.

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IS said none of its fighters was wounded in the raid, and it did not publish any pictures of her body.

The Jordanian military has said its fighter jets had launched dozens of strikes since Thursday, and that it would provide details on Sunday about the targets it says it has destroyed.

Foreign Minister Nasser Judah told Fox news this week the air force had targeted IS in both Syria and Iraq.

© – AFP 2015

Read: IS claims an American hostage was killed in a coalition air strike

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