Islamic State downs their first fighter aircraft

The war against Islamic State has taken a dangerous turn as the terrorists have shot down their first coalition plane and captured the pilot.

Maaz al-Kassasbeh, a first lieutenant in the Jordanian air force, was captured after his aircraft was reportedly shot down with a heat seeking missile.

AFP:

A senior Jordanian military official confirmed the pilot was seized, saying his plane went down in Syria's Raqa region, a militant stronghold, early on Wednesday.

"The pilot was taken hostage by the IS terrorist organisation," official news agency Petra quoted the official as saying.

Jordan did not say why the plane went down, but both the jihadists and a monitoring group said it was shot with an anti-aircraft missile.

If confirmed, it would be the first coalition warplane shot down since air strikes on IS began in Syria in September.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said its sources in Syria confirmed IS had captured the pilot "after shooting his plane down with an anti-aircraft missile near Raqa city."

Coalition warplanes have carried out regular strikes around Raqa, which IS has used as the headquarters for its self-declared "caliphate" after seizing control of large parts of Syria and Iraq.

The IS branch in Raqa published photographs on jihadist websites purporting to show its fighters holding the captured pilot.

One showed the pilot, wearing only a white shirt, being carried from a body of water by four men. Another showed him on land, surrounded by about a dozen armed men.

A photograph was also released of the pilot's military identification card, showing his name as Maaz al-Kassasbeh, his birth date as May 29, 1988, and his rank of first lieutenant.

The jihadists claimed to have shot down the warplane with a heat-seeking missile.

The pilot's father Youssef was quoted by Jordanian news website Saraya as saying the family had been informed by the air force of his capture.

Jordan does not have a modern air force so it's no great feat to have brought one of their planes down. Still, this has got to alter our calculations a bit, given that President Obama doesn't want any casualties in his "war" against IS. Our F-15's and other combat aircraft have effective countermeasures to heat seeking missiles, but we really don't know what kind of anti-aircraft defenses IS might be able to deploy.

The captured pilot is probably doomed to suffer a horrible, public death. No doubt Islamic State will seek to make an example of him in order to scare off other countries in the coalition.

 

The war against Islamic State has taken a dangerous turn as the terrorists have shot down their first coalition plane and captured the pilot.

Maaz al-Kassasbeh, a first lieutenant in the Jordanian air force, was captured after his aircraft was reportedly shot down with a heat seeking missile.

AFP:

A senior Jordanian military official confirmed the pilot was seized, saying his plane went down in Syria's Raqa region, a militant stronghold, early on Wednesday.

"The pilot was taken hostage by the IS terrorist organisation," official news agency Petra quoted the official as saying.

Jordan did not say why the plane went down, but both the jihadists and a monitoring group said it was shot with an anti-aircraft missile.

If confirmed, it would be the first coalition warplane shot down since air strikes on IS began in Syria in September.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said its sources in Syria confirmed IS had captured the pilot "after shooting his plane down with an anti-aircraft missile near Raqa city."

Coalition warplanes have carried out regular strikes around Raqa, which IS has used as the headquarters for its self-declared "caliphate" after seizing control of large parts of Syria and Iraq.

The IS branch in Raqa published photographs on jihadist websites purporting to show its fighters holding the captured pilot.

One showed the pilot, wearing only a white shirt, being carried from a body of water by four men. Another showed him on land, surrounded by about a dozen armed men.

A photograph was also released of the pilot's military identification card, showing his name as Maaz al-Kassasbeh, his birth date as May 29, 1988, and his rank of first lieutenant.

The jihadists claimed to have shot down the warplane with a heat-seeking missile.

The pilot's father Youssef was quoted by Jordanian news website Saraya as saying the family had been informed by the air force of his capture.

Jordan does not have a modern air force so it's no great feat to have brought one of their planes down. Still, this has got to alter our calculations a bit, given that President Obama doesn't want any casualties in his "war" against IS. Our F-15's and other combat aircraft have effective countermeasures to heat seeking missiles, but we really don't know what kind of anti-aircraft defenses IS might be able to deploy.

The captured pilot is probably doomed to suffer a horrible, public death. No doubt Islamic State will seek to make an example of him in order to scare off other countries in the coalition.