Jordanian Media Confirms: ISIS Shot Down RJAF Plane

Details slowly emerging over plane shot down by ISIS - perhaps the first successful ISIS strike against the coalition in Syria.

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Yaakov Levi,

Coalition airstrike against ISIS in Kobane (file)
Coalition airstrike against ISIS in Kobane (file)

More details have emerged over the capture of a Jordanian pilot flying over Syria who was shot down by Islamic State forces and taken captive, Jordanian sources revealed Wednesday night. 

Earlier Wednesday, initial reports surfaced stating that the coalition plane had been shot down, near the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State group's de facto capital. 

Jordan's Petra news agency confirmed the incident Wednesday afternoon, and a Jordanian source quoted by the BBC said in a statement that "during a mission Wednesday morning conducted by several Royal Jordanian Air Force planes against hideouts of the IS terrorist organization in the Raqqa region, one of the planes went down and the pilot was taken hostage."

"Jordan holds the group and its supporters responsible for the safety of the pilot and his life," the source said.

The incident further highlighted the assistance Jordan was providing the United States and other countries in fighting ISIS, which has taken large portions of Syria and Iraq in recent months. Several weeks ago, the group declared the “Islamic State,” a modern-day version of what it said was a “caliphate,” an Islamist-run country that fully observed Sharia law.

It is still not known whether there were other people on the plane, and ISIS has not commented on the matter yet explicitly - but has released what it claims are photos of the downed plane. Jordanian sources said that they expected the Islamist group to make demands of Jordan in return for the release of the pilot.

The U.S. has not confirmed the strike yet. If the report is correct, it would be the first plane shot down by ISIS since Western countries began operations against the Islamist group in Syria three months ago.

Tova Dvorin contributed to this report