ISIS captures Syrian pilot after fighter jet crash – reports
The pilot was reportedly found alive after landing, IS-affiliated Amaq news agency claimed, according to Reuters.
A video posted by militants allegedly shows the burning MiG-23 Flogger fighter-bomber lying in the desert. Amid the wreckage, a two-starred Syrian government flag is reportedly visible.
IS fighters were reportedly seen picking up parts of the wreckage around the crash site, which is in an area said to be controlled by the terror group.
The authenticity of the video could not be verified.
RIA Novosti also cited a Syrian militia source who said that a Syrian MiG-23 had crashed near an IS-controlled area outside of Damascus on Friday.
Amaq later reported that the name of the captured pilot was Azzam Eid.
Syria’s state media had not commented on the incident at the time of this writing.
Terrorists have captured pilots in the past. In early April, Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front bragged about shooting down a Syrian Su-22 with a surface-to-air missile. The pilot, who managed to eject, was captured by Al-Nusra jihadists and then transferred to their “brothers” in the Ahrar Al-Sham group, who are reportedly seeking to exchange him.
In December of 2014, the extremist group shot down a warplane from the US-led coalition, capturing Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh. Islamic fighters later burned al-Kassasbeh alive while videoing the horrific incident.
In the beginning of April, Islamic State militants killed 175 workers captured at a cement factory east of Damascus, Sputnik Arabic reported.
Syria has been fighting an all-out war since 2011, with troops loyal to President Bashar Assad battling rebels and Islamist extremists, including terror groups recruiting foreign fighters like Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State.
Though a Russian-US brokered ceasefire came into effect across Syria at the end of February, several terror groups are excluded from the truce. Syria and Russia are pushing to expand the list of groups considered as terrorist that can still be attacked.