The situation looks grim for a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist who the Islamic State are trying to use to gain the release of a woman who helped murder 58 people in Amman in 2005.
The announcement from Amman came just ahead of an IS deadline to kill a captured Jordanian pilot if a sought-after suicide bomber is not released. The fate of a Japanese journalist held under threat by IS remains uncertain.
The self-styled Islamic State is losing key battles on the ground in Iraq and Syria and in the propaganda wars as well. A Kurdish victory in Kobane would be a stinging blow.