Damascus: The Syrian government has claimed that its army has destroyed two warplanes in the hands of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the official news agency SANA reported Wednesday.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zubi said in a televised interview that the Syrian Air Force had destroyed two of the three old aircraft in the power of the jihadis, as they landed at an abandoned air base in Aleppo.
The Syrian army is searching for the third plane although the IS would not be able to use it, he added.
the Syrian attack came after activists revealed last Friday that the IS was in possession of at least three military aircraft in Aleppo`s al-Jarrah military base.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the aircraft were Russian-made Mig 21 and Mig 23 models and the IS was training its fighters to pilot them.
Al-Zubi affirmed that the IS takeover of the aircraft was aimed at giving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a reason to demand a no-fly zone on the Syrian-Turkish border.
It is believed the planes fell into the hands of IS fighters when they overran military airports in the provinces of Aleppo and Raqaa that used to belong to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In June, the IS proclaimed a "caliphate" in the vast areas it controls in Syria and Iraq.