Israeli Pilot Captured by ISIS? No, but something else happened
The headline read, ” Breaking –ISIS Claims Capture of Israeli pilot in West Dara’a.” Problem is, after a little checking, that headline was seriously skewed. ISIS did not capture an Israeli pilot who ejected over Syria. What ISIS or an ISIS affiliate actually got was an Arab-Israeli defector who paraglided into Syria from the Golan.
The incident sparked an intense manhunt in the Golan as IDF forces searched for the man. He is 23 years old and from the town of Jaljulya, a primarily Muslim town northeast of Tel-Aviv. The name was not released.
The Israeli Defense Force believes he intentionally flew in to Syria to join jihadists there. Of course, the family denies it and strongly believes the wind blew him off course.
An IDF search thus far has not turned up the man, and Israeli authorities believe he may have landed in the Syrian area of Quneitra, or the province of Daraa.
The Jerusalem Post Reported,
On Saturday evening, at approximately 5 p.m., IDF look-outs spotted the para glider hovering from northern Israel into Syria, and alerted the military, which launched a large-scale search.
“We believe he planned this move to the other side, and joined a group there,” Almoz told reporters during a conference call. “From the moment we spotted him, a large operational and intelligence search and investigation by the Northern Command, which was joined by the Shin Bet, began,” he added.
Throughout the night, large numbers of rumors circulated on social media about events on the northern border.
The family stated that an anonymous phone call was received that claimed their son was well.
So, no ISIS didn’t snag an Israeli pilot, and no the man wasn’t captured… but he soon may feel like he was. Prime Minister Netanyahu stated Israel will revoke his Israeli citizenship. It is unknown which group picked him up on the other side, and Shin Bet has taken over the investigation.
Yesterday: IDF surveillance post identified a paraglider entering Syria. Initial investigation suggests Israeli-Arab crossed intentionally.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) October 25, 2015
Arab-Israeli paraglides into Syria across Golan Heights border, IDF says. https://t.co/nU3s6GwFxz
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 25, 2015