Syria’s air force has destroyed two fighter jets operated by Islamic State militants in the north of the country, Information Minister Omran Zoabi said in remarks published on Syria’s state news agency SANA late on Tuesday.
A Syrian monitoring group said on Friday that Iraqi pilots trained under former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had joined Islamic State and were conducting training flights in three captured fighter jets at a air base in Aleppo province.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Islamic State, which has seized swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, had been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo.
Zoabi said the Syrian air force was searching for the third jet but had destroyed two of them.This is the first time Damascus has acknowledged that Islamic State are flying the aircraft.
“Regarding … that terrorists control three jets in al-Jarrah military air base in Aleppo, there are three old aircraft that the terrorists were testing so the Syrian Arab Army immediately destroyed two of them on the runway as they were landing.”
“It does not worry us and (the planes) cannot be used,” he said, referring to their military capability.
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