Pilot held after warplane shot down

Published: Wednesday 24th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Islamic State group fighters have shot down a warplane believed to be from the US-led coalition over Syria and captured its pilot, activists said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the aircraft was shot down near the northern city of Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s de facto capital. The Observatory said the plane was part of the US-led coalition, adding that the captured pilot is an Arab.

Another group, the Raqqa Media Centre, which covers areas under IS control in Raqqa, claimed the pilot is Jordanian.

If true, it will be the first warplane shot down by IS since the US-led coalition began its air strikes against the group in Syria three months ago.

RMC published a photograph said to be of the pilot who appeared wearing a white shirt as he was surrounded by 11 fighters, some of them masked. Another photograph published by the group showed the man – naked from the waist down and soaking wet – being captured by three gunmen as he was taken out of what appeared to be a lake.

There was no immediate comment from Jordanian authorities.

In Washington, a Pentagon official said they were aware of claims on social media that a pilot had been shot down, but could not confirm the report.

The official said any further questions about the alleged capture should be referred to the government of Jordan.

The US-led coalition has carried out hundreds of air strikes against IS positions in Syria since September 23.

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have joined in air strikes against the extremist group, while Qatar is providing logistical support.

Published: Wednesday 24th December 2014 by The News Editor

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