Muadh al-Kasasibah, a Jordanian pilot, who has been captured by Islamic State
Muadh al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, was recently captured by Islamic State Dabiq magazine

Islamic State (Isis) have released a new issue of their propaganda magazine, Dabiq, featuring an interview with the recently captured Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh, in which he allegedly claims his plane was shot down.

In the interview, al-Kasasbeh is referred to as "murtadd", meaning an apostate. He confirms his age and place of birth before answering questions about his last mission as a coalition pilot.

Al-Kasasbeh is the first foreign fighter to be captured by the militants since air strikes began in September. He claims his orders were to be a "sweeper", targeting IS anti-aircraft weaponry and providing "cover for the striker jets", who were carrying out air strikes on IS ground targets.

The 26-year-old said: "We entered the region of ar-Raqqah to sweep the area, then the striker jets entered to begin their attack."

According to al-Kasasbeh, it was a "heat-seeking missile" rather than a technical fault which caused his plane to malfunction.

"My plane was struck by a heat-seeking missile. I heard and felt its hit."

However, the US has previously denied that IS shot down the plane, with the US Central Command saying in a statement: "Evidence clearly indicates that Isil [IS] did not down the aircraft as the terrorist organisation is claiming".

The Jordanian fighter pilot was taking part in an Arab coalition air strike mission, which included planes and pilots from as far as Morocco and the Gulf countries.

"The other Jordanian pilot in the mission – the first lieutenant pilot Saddām Mardīnī – contacted me from a participating jet and told me that I was struck and that fire was coming out of the rear nozzle of my engine.

"I checked the system display and it indicated that the engine was damaged and burning. The plane began to deviate from its normal flight path, so I ejected", al-Kasasbeh continued.

After safely ejecting from the plane, al-Kasasbeh parachuted down and landed in the Furat River. He was saved after his seat became lodged in the ground, but was then captured by nearby IS militants.

The interviewer allegedly asked the pilot if he had met any American "crusaders" to which he said: "Of course. There are around 200 Americans in Muwaffiq al-Salti air base."

He claims the base houses 16 American pilots, including one female pilots, and a large team of technicians and engineers.

The captured pilot also says that an American pilot was killed trying to take off for a bombing mission in heavy fog, in early December. While his claims have yet to be verified, according to al-Kasasbeh, the American pilot's jet crashed on a runway in Jordan.