US officials say the UAE has suspended its cooperation with a US-led coalition in conducting airstrikes against the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officials said that Abu Dhabi made the decision in December when a Jordanian air force plane went down over Syria while on a mission against the terrorists.
“I can confirm that UAE suspended airstrikes shortly after the Jordanian pilot’s plane went down, but let me be clear that UAE continues to be an important and valuable partner that is contributing to the coalition,” one official said.
The ISIL captured the Jordanian pilot of the plane that crashed, Moaz al-Kassasbeh, on December 24, 2014. The ISIL on Tuesday released a video online showing the Takfiri terrorists burning Kassasbeh alive.
The UAE and Jordan are among the Arab states that joined the US-led coalition that has been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria since September.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Wednesday declined to respond to a question about the UAE’s departure from the coalition, saying, “We are not going to confirm any reports about other countries and their military operations.”
The Takfiris control swathes of land in Syria and Iraq and have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.