Baghdad: Islamic State group militants shot down an Iraqi military helicopter on Saturday, officials said, killing the two pilots onboard. The incident raised fresh concerns about the extremists’ ability to attack aircraft amid ongoing US-led coalition airstrikes. The attack happened in the holy city of Samarra, about 95 kilometres north of Baghdad.
A grab taken from a propaganda video released on November 16 by al-Furqan Media. It allegedly shows members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) preparing the simultaneous beheadings of Syrian military personnel. Pic/AFP
A senior defense ministry official and an army official, said on the condition on anonymity that the Sunni militants used a shoulder-fired rocket launcher to shoot down the EC635 helicopter on the outskirts of the city. The EC635, built by Airbus Helicopters, is used for transport, surveillance and combat. Earlier the militants shot down at least two other Iraqi military helicopters near the city of Beiji in October.
Some fear the militants may have captured ground-to-air missiles capable of shooting down airplanes when they overran Iraqi and Syrian army bases this summer. The Islamic State group holds about a third of Iraq and neighbouring Syria in its self-styled caliphate.
IS beheads four men for blasphemy
Islamic State’s self-declared police force in western Syria beheaded four men after accusing them of blasphemy, a rights group monitoring the Syrian conflict said on Saturday.
The militant group’s ‘Islamic Police’ beheaded the men in the countryside east of the city of Homs, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Residents and activists say Islamic State has beheaded and stoned to death many people in the areas it controls in Syria and Iraq for actions which according to them violate the Islamic Law of adultery, homosexuality, stealing and blasphemy.