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The New Arab

Pentagon denies aircraft downed by Islamic State group

US warplanes are targeting Islamic state positions in Iraq and Syria [AFP]

Date of publication: 26 July, 2016

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IS claims to have shot down a coalition aircraft in Iraq's Anbar province have been denied by US military chiefs.
The Pentagon has rejected a claim made by the Islamic State group that a US jet fighter was shot down near the Ayn Asad Air Base in Iraq's Anbar province on Monday.

News of the jet's alleged downing emerged via the IS-affiliated Amaq news agency. The militants claimed that all aboard the plane had been killed.

Images have since emerged on social media channels of what is claimed to be debris from the fallen plane. The images show what appears to be part of an aircraft's exterior, as well as various tools and items of uniform.

Within an hour of the initial Amaq report emerging, however, US Central Command denied the claim, tweeting: "There is no truth to reports of ISIL downing a US aircraft near Anbar," using an alternative acronym for the IS group.

A Pentagon spokesman relayed the same message, adding that "all US and coalition aircraft are accounted for at this time".

The US is currently leading a coalition of Western nations who are conducting air strikes on IS targets in Iraq and Syria.

Over the past seven days, at least 73 air strikes have taken place inside Iraq to support government forces in their advance on IS positions.

On Thursday, coalition airstrikes killed 60 civilians, including at least 10 children in several rebel-held areas across Syria.

The bombing - which is the coalition's deadliest attack on civilians in its fight against IS - was described by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as a "massacre."

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