That should be great fun for the U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots, if only Obama allows them to engage.
UK Daily Mail Islamic State leaders in Syria and Iraq are training their fighters to fly captured fighter jets in the hope of establishing an air force, it has been claimed. The terror group is understood to have been carrying out test flights the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, according to a British-based organisation monitoring the Syrian Civil War.
Having captured three fighter jets from the Syrian military, ISIS are using Iraqi pilots who were once officers in Saddam Hussein’s air force to train Syria-based militants to operate the warplanes.
The news comes as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula sought to mend its strained relations with ISIS, urging all jihadist groups operating in the Middle East to unite under the common cause of fighting against Western ‘crusader’ armies.
ISIS’ alleged test flights over the Aleppo countryside are understood to be the first time the terror group – which seized control of vast swathes of Syria and Iraq earlier this year – has taken to the air. ‘They have trainers, Iraqi officers who were pilots before for Saddam Hussein,’ said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
‘People saw the flights, they went up many times from the airport and they are flying in the skies outside the airport and coming back,’ he said, citing witnesses near al-Jarrah military airport. The airport, which was seized from the Syrian regime earlier this year, is approximately 45 miles from the Turkish border.
It is not clear if the jets are equipped with weaponry nor if the pilots are able to fly long distances, but witnesses said the planes appear to be Soviet-built MiG 21 or MiG 23 models.
ISIS’ alleged test flights come despite American and Arab warplanes carrying out dozens of bombing raids against the group in Syria.