04/02/2015 12:53 GMT | Updated 04/02/2015 13:59 GMT

Islamic State Video Of Pilot Burning To Death May Be A Show Of Weakness, Not Strength

Nasser Nasser/AP
A Jordanian Christian lights a candle next to a picture of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who is being held by Islamic State group militants, following Sunday prayers in Adir Roman Catholic Church, on the outskirts of Karak, Jordan, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. Jordan renewed an offer Sunday to swap Sajida al-Rishawi, an al-Qaida prisoner, for a fighter pilot held captive by the Islamic State group, a day after a video purportedly showed the militants beheading Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

The Islamic State's burning to death of a Jordanian pilot locked in a steel cage, captured in high-definition film, is a show of weakness not strength, analysts have suggested.

Indeed, many Middle East watchers have said the video is likely to be deeply problematic for IS, as the group looks to make gains within Jordan. It is increasingly being seen as a desperate PR move by the group looking for ever more grotesque ways to win the media war, when they are losing the ground war.

“[First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh] is in every bedroom in Jordan now,” Jordanian MP Naif al-Amoun told the New York Times. “We are not going to let anyone exploit this issue to turn us against the government.” Jordan has since executed two prisoners, including a would-be female suicide bomber from al-Qaeda.

On the ground, things are going badly for IS, also know as Isis and Isil. No significant territorial gains have been made since summer 2014, the Taliban is fighting any attempt to wrestle any space in Afghanistan, and the NYT reports that the Iraqi armed forces have undergone significant improvements in their organisation and training.

Shep Smith Delivers Chilling Account Of IS Video Showing Death Of Jordanian Pilot

"Increasing pressures on the group may make them more desperate and likely to carry out barbaric acts to keep attention on their message," Joana Cook of the Kings College London War Studies department told the Telegraph. "As long as their messaging and reactions to their grievances find resonance with their audience, this cycle is likely to continue.

"While [IS] may appear to be winning in the short-term, those challenging the group can ensure that their actions do not provide more fuel for the long-term. As with terrorist groups throughout history, increasing violence has never won the day."

Former Egyptian army Maj Gen. Abdul Karim Ahmed told the AINA news agency that IS wanted to project itself as a "giant stone colossus", but it has instead turned out to be a "cardboard monster easy to destroy"

So why are Islamic State getting so desperate?

IS are losing