ISIS has been a faction that has undergone dramatic changes over the past few years, starting as a smallish al-Qaeda affiliate conducting traditional terrorism, and expanding into a full-fledged de facto state with its own army. Now, it may have an air force too.
Reports out of Syria’s Aleppo Province are claiming ISIS has been test flying three MiG 21 or MiG 23 fighter jets in the area around the Jarrah military airport in the eastern portion of the province. The flights are lasting only five to ten minutes each.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a rebel mouthpiece, claimed that ISIS had recruited Saddam-era Iraqi pilots to fly the warplanes, and locals reported seeing the planes flying low around the airport.
The Pentagon said they weren’t able to confirm any such flights, but did say that they are “keeping a close eye” on ISIS, which has bragged in the past about capturing the jets, which at the time were believed to be in an unusable state.