Islamic State Downs Syrian Fighter Jet

September 16, 2014  

The Islamic State terrorist group downed a Syrian air force jet for the first time today, in signs the terror group also known as ISIS is improving its military capabilities.

“IS fighters fired on a military aircraft which crashed,” said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “It is the first aircraft shot down since the regime launched airstrikes against the jihadists in July following their declaration of a caliphate in late June.”

Syrian regime forces have been bombing ISIS’s de-facto capital in the northern city of Raqqa for several weeks now.

It comes as the United States’ bombing campaign in support of the anti-ISIS coalition on the ground continues, with new airstrikes close to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Shia militias and Iraqi army forces are currently battling ISIS fighters who have come within 40 miles of the capital.

“US military forces continued to attack (IS) terrorists in Iraq, employing attack and fighter aircraft to conduct two airstrikes Sunday and Monday in support of Iraqi security forces near Sinjar and southwest of Baghdad,” read a statement by the US Central Command, which also put the total number of airstrikes since the start of the campaign at 162.

“The airstrike southwest of Baghdad was the first strike taken as part of our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions to hit (IS) targets as Iraqi forces go on offense, as outlined in the president’s speech last Wednesday.”

The Islamic State has executed three western hostages – two Americans and one British man – in response to the bombing campaign and to western military support for Kurdish and Iraqi government forces. The group has vowed to execute another man – an aid worker from England – if the strikes do not end.

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