Jordan demanded proof Thursday that a pilot threatened with execution by the Islamic State group was alive, as a deadline set by the jihadists to free a female militant expired. IS had vowed to kill airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh unless Iraqi jihadist Sajida al-Rishawi was handed over at the Turkish border in return for captured Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. The extremist group had set a deadline of sunset Thursday for the exchange, but there was no news of the hostages after night fell over parts of Iraq and Syria where IS is based. Jordan said it was still waiting for evidence that the airman is alive and well.
By Dan Williams and Laila Bassam JERUSALEM/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Israel and Hezbollah signaled on Thursday their rare flare-up in fighting across the Israel-Lebanon border was over, after the Lebanese guerrillas killed two Israeli troops in retaliation for a deadly air strike in Syria last week. Israel said it had received a message from UNIFIL, the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon, that Hezbollah was not interested in further escalation. In Beirut, a Lebanese source briefed on the situation told Reuters that Israel informed Hezbollah via UNIFIL "that it will make do with what happened yesterday and it does not want the battle to expand".