IS 'captures' Syrian pilot after shooting down plane
Damascus, April 23: The Islamic State militant group claimed on Friday it has captured the pilot of a warplane crashed southeast of Damascus, the SITE Intelligence Group quoted the group’s Amaq news agency as saying. According to the report, the IS claimed that it shot down the war jet and captured the pilot. The IS claimed the captured pilot is Azzam Eid from the central province of Hama, adding that its militants captured him after parachuting southeast of Damascus.
Earlier in the day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a Syrian warplane crashed over a town controlled by the IS group southeast of Damascus. The war jet crashed over Tal Dakweh near the town of Beir al-Qassab southeast of Damascus, said the Observatory.
The London-based watchdog group stopped short of giving further details, saying it was not clear whether the aircraft was downed by IS or multifunction.
Earlier in the day, Russia’s Interfax news agency said the plane crashed because of a technical fault.
It quoted a Syrian military source as saying that the crashed plane had recently undergone repairs while there was no attack from the ground, adding that “it crashed because of a technical fault.” The report also identified the plane as a Mig-23. The IS and the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front have downed two Syrian warplanes over the past two weeks, as part of the intensified violence across the country. The state-run media outlets in Syria has yet to comment on the crash. (IANS)