US Central Command boss Army Gen. Lloyd Austin downplayed reports of ISIS flying fighter aircraft
over Syria during a briefing with reporters at the Pentagon on Friday.
"We don't have any operational reporting on ISIS flying jets," Austin
said. He declined to comment on whether former Iraqi pilots who defected
to ISIS were helping train new pilots from the terrorist group.
However, he did say the Syrian air force has "not challenged us since we
began flying." A Centcom official speaking on background told Air Force Magazine
that US officials' assessment of the ground threat to aircraft is fairly
minimal in most of the country. The official also noted the initial
waves of airstrikes targeted both areas in the east and the more
populous western part of the country, where air defenses are more built
up. But since the initial waves, most strikes have focused on the
eastern and northern portion of Syria, such as the region around Kobani.
The official would not confirm or deny the continued use of the F-22,
but Air Staff officials have said it has flown in sorties since the first wave of strikes. (Austin transcript.)
See what senior leaders had to say at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.
Find out what senior Air Force and industry leaders had to say at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.
AFA's Air Warfare Symposium kicked off Wednesday and runs through Friday. Follow Air Force Magazine's coverage of the show online and via social media by following us on Twitter,
Flickr, or by using
Tweets by @AirForceMag