We’ve been tracking an intense story here at Next News of the Israeli pilot allegedly captured by ISIS. As the facts become more clear here’s what we know. The pilot, is a still unidentified 23 year old Israeli citizen who illegally crossed the border into Syria to defect to Islamic State controlled territories. According to an IDF spotter his choice of aircraft for the dramatic defection: a paraglider. The Israeli military has confirmed that the footage you’re seeing right now was in fact israeli drones and warplanes circling the area and dropping flares during an intensive search effort to reveal the man’s landing site on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. It is still unclear if the IDF ground forces clashed with ISIS within Syria as Israel has been silent on that matter.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a cryptic statement this morning that seemed to indicate that fighting may have in-fact occurred:
“Yesterday, an Israeli civilian crossed our border in the Golan Heights into Syria to join the ranks of the enemy. We will act to nullify his citizenship. That is what is done in any such case. Whoever joins the ranks of the enemy to fight against Israel will not be an Israeli citizen.”
“We are constantly fighting ISIS, the Nusra Front and other terrorist organizations.”
One organization, The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, confirmed via social media they had not taken an Israeli pilot into captivity. However they did not confirm if a new Israeli defector had joined their ranks.
Given the intensity of fighting in the region and the number of militaries converged, including Russia and Iran, this will not likely be the last time an Israeli defects triggering an IDF response of this scale.
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For the Next News Network, I’m Gary Franchi.