ISIS claims to shoot down Syrian war plane near Raqqa

ISIS claims to shoot down Syrian war plane near Raqqa

[Ed. – Nearly impossible to confirm, especially if it was done with AAA rather than a missile.  But the claim is credible, and if it’s valid, it’s an escalation in ISIS capabilities, and will translate into an escalation in confidence.]

Islamic State fighters shot down a Syrian war plane using anti-aircraft guns on Tuesday, the first time the group has downed a military jet since declaring its cross-border caliphate in June, a group monitoring the civil war said.

The plane came down outside Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa city, 400 km (250 miles) northeast of Damascus, during air strikes on territory controlled by the group, a resident said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group which gathers information from a network of activists on the ground, reported five air raids on Raqqa on Tuesday. Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the organization, cited sources close to Islamic State as saying the plane had been shot down.

Further north Islamic State clashed with Kurdish fighters near Syria’s border with Turkey, in fighting which killed dozens of people on both sides, the Observatory said. …

The Syrian air force has been bombing Islamic State-controlled territory in the provinces of Raqqa and Deir al-Zor on a near-daily basis since the group seized the Iraqi city of Mosul in June.

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