U.S. F-16 jets
U.S. F-16 jets Reuters

The United States on Wednesday said that a Jordanian F-16 warplane was not shot down by the Islamic State (ISIS) as the group has claimed.

A military statement quoted by The Associated Press (AP) said the plane crashed in northern Syria and confirmed that a pilot was taken captive by Islamic State forces.

But evidence indicates ISIS "did not down the aircraft as the terrorist organization is claiming." The statement didn't cite a cause for the crash.

In the statement Wednesday, Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of U.S. Central Command, called the Jordanians "highly respected and valued partners."

He said their pilots and crews have performed exceptionally in the U.S.-led bombing campaign.

Austin said the United States will support efforts to recover the pilot and won't tolerate attempts by the Islamic State to "misrepresent or exploit this unfortunate aircraft crash for their own purposes."

Earlier Wednesday, Jordan's Petra news agency confirmed the incident, and a Jordanian source quoted by the BBC said in a statement that "during a mission Wednesday morning conducted by several Royal Jordanian Air Force planes against hideouts of the IS terrorist organization in the Raqqa region, one of the planes went down and the pilot was taken hostage."

"Jordan holds the group and its supporters responsible for the safety of the pilot and his life," the source said.