A man comforts the wife of Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by the ISIS group militants, during a protest in front of the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, Jan. 28, 2015. (AP /Raad Adayleh)
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Jordan offered a precedent-setting prisoner swap to the ISIS group Wednesday in a desperate attempt to save a Jordanian air force pilot the militants purportedly threatened to kill, along with a Japanese hostage.Efforts to release the pilot, Lt. Moaz al-Kassasbeh, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto gained urgency with the release late Tuesday of a purported online ultimatum claiming the ISIS group would kill both hostages within 24 hours if the Al-Qaeda-linked prisoner was not freed.Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said Jordan was ready to trade the prisoner, an Iraqi woman convicted of involvement in a deadly Amman hotel bombings in 2005, for the pilot. Momani made no mention of Goto, and it was not clear if the swap proposed by Jordan would satisfy the hostage-takers. Jordan is part of a U.S.-led military alliance that has carried out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq in recent months.Participation in the alliance is unpopular in Jordan, and the capture of the pilot has only exacerbated such sentiments, analysts said.Several dozen protesters gathered Wednesday outside King Abdullah's palace in Amman, urging the government to do more to win the release of the pilot.
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