Pentagon denies that ISIS has air capability

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Monday there is no evidence the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has acquired warplanes or pilots capable of flying them.

{mosads}“We don’t have any indication that they actually have fighter jets in their capability or even the capability to fly them, and we don’t have any indications they have any air defense or anti-air capability at all right now,” Kirby asserted on MSNBC.

A report late last week from the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) alleged that ISIS had captured three fighter jets, including MiG-21 and MiG-23 models, and that former Iraqi military pilots were training militants at the al-Jarrah airbase east of Aleppo, Syria.

The report cited sources who said ISIS captured the planes from military airports in the ISIS stronghold provinces of Aleppo and Raqqa. A jet was reportedly seen taking off from al-Jarrah and flying at a low altitude.

U.S. Central Command chief Army Gen. Lloyd Austin could not confirm the report at a Pentagon press briefing Friday.

“We’re watching it very, very closely,” Kirby said Monday.


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