Islamic State shoots down Syrian aircraft

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ARA News

Damascus, Syria – On Friday, militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIL) reportedly shot down a regime aircraft near a key military airport in the Syrian southern province of As-Suwayda.

In the meantime, IS-linked media sources reported that the group has captured the pilot of the downed aircraft near the Khalkhalah airport in the province of As-Suwayda. 

As-Suwayda province is a main stronghold for the Druze minority in southern Syria. The Druze have showed neutrality towards the Syrian conflict over the past four years. 

Khalkhalah airport is the only air base in As-Suwayda province. 

The warplane was shot down in the eastern part of Khalkhalah airport, local sources reported on Friday. 

The Syrian state media denied the news of IS shooting down the aircraft, saying the plane went down “due to technical problems during a training exercise near Khalkhalah”, quoting a military officer as saying: “The search for the pilot is still ongoing.” 

According to reports, Friday’s incident was not the first time IS has successfully downed a military aircraft. 

IS militants shot down a Jordanian warplane conducting air strikes on Syria in February, capturing its pilot Muaz Kassasbeh and subsequently burned him to death.

 

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi 

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