David Cameron joined international condemnation tonight after the sickening murder of a Jordanian pilot burned to death by “Islamic State” (IS) extremists.
The Prime Minister said the barbaric act would “only strengthen” the resolve of the international community to defeat the militants.
A video posted online showed Lt Moaz al Kasasbeh standing in a cage before being set on fire. The pilot was captured by IS when his plane came down near their Raqqa stronghold in Syria in December while on a mission supporting US-led air strikes.
Jordanian state TV confirmed the death, suggesting he was actually killed a month ago.
In a statement, Mr Cameron said: “I condemn this sickening murder by ISIL’s barbaric terrorists. I pay tribute to the dedication and bravery of Lieutenant Moaz al Kasasbeh, who as a member of the Jordanian Armed Forces serving in the anti-ISIL Coalition, paid with his life while protecting his country and us all.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight at this tragic time.
“These terrorists’ brutal behaviour will only strengthen our resolve. We stand in solidarity with our Jordanian friends and we will continue to work with them and our other Coalition partners to defeat ISIL.”
King Abdullah of Jordan is cutting short a trip to the US to return and oversee the response to the murder.
The Prince of Wales is due to visit Jordan as part of a tour of the region later this month. US President Barack Obama said the video was more evidence of the group’s “viciousness and barbarity”.
Michael Haines, brother of the murdered British IS hostage David Haines, who was born in East Yorkshire, said: “My heart is filled with sadness yet again to hear of the savage murder of another hostage.”
Terrorists holding Lieutenant Moaz al Kasasbeh had appealed for Sajida al-Rishawi, on death row in Jordan for her role in terrorist attacks on hotels in Jordan, to be released in a swap deal.