Editor’s Note: The Cessna AC-208B “Combat Caravan” is an Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) version of Cessna’s short-haul utility Caravan. Armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, the Combat Caravan is used by the Iraqi air force, making its combat debut in January 2014 when the IAF began employing it against insurgents. Within the past few days, Daesh shot down one of Iraq’s Combat Caravans near the city of Kirkuk.
Daesh has claimed it has shot down an armed Iraqi Air Force Cessna with a 57mm anti-aircraft gun near the city of Kirkuk. The terrorist organization has released footage showing the aircraft banking at an extreme angle as it plummets to the ground.
The Iraqi Air Force has admitted it has lost the Cessna 208 Caravan, which was armed with Hellfire missiles, but blamed the crash on a “technical fault.”
A second section of video shows the wreckage of a green aircraft with the tail number YI-119, which was from Squadron 3, Iraqi Air Force.
It was reported that among the wreckage was what appeared to be the rear section of a Hellfire missile. The aircraft, which was carrying three crew was on a reconnaissance flight when it crashed. A military source told AFP that authorities had launched a search for the crew after the Cessna 208 Caravan went down near Kirkuk, around 135 miles north of Baghdad.
In its combat version, the aircraft can be used to launch laser-guided Hellfire missiles.
ISIS claimed in a statement posted on Twitter and a video released moments later that its fighters had shot the plane down, killing five crew members.
It said it used anti-aircraft artillery against a plane that had been on a bombing run against the city of Hawijah, a stronghold of the jihadists in Kirkuk province.
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(Featured photo by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller/Released)