Islamic State (Isis) militants shot down a fighter plane and then crucified the pilot and placed a model jet above his head. The jihadists say they shot down a jet, believed to have belonged to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian air force on Thursday 14 July near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, which sits on the Iraqi border.
The Daesh (Isis) mouthpiece, Amaq, released video footage showing the remnants of the downed plane scattered across a stretch of barren rocky ground in their self-proclaimed caliphate. They claimed that the jet had carried out bombings on IS positions.
The video then showed a dead pilot, still in military uniform and white helmet, then hung him on display in the street — attached to a crucifix. To mock the dead man they hung a model plane above his head with the black IS Tawheed on the rear of the model aircraft.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) a British-based NGO which monitors the war in Syria, said IS had shot down the plane in the Thardah hills in Deir ez-Zor province. As of yet it is not known how the terrorists downed the jet.
SOHR said this was the second jet to be brought down over IS territory since April this year but the militants had brought down two helicopters in recent months. In dramatic footage that emerged last week a Russian helicopter was shot down near the ancient city of Palmyra where the Syrian Army backed by Vladimir Putin's Russian Air Force battle the extremists.
The Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed that the Mi-25 helicopter was brought down on 8 July after the crew had successfully thwarted advancing terrorists, but were struck as they returned to base.
The downing of the aircraft comes as Syrian President al-Assad said that the US is not really interested in defeating IS terrorists in Syria as it really wants "to control and use them". He told NBC News that US air strikes are "counterproductive."