- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2016

The official news agency of the self-styled Islamic State claimed Monday that it forces shot down an American warplane, a claim the U.S. military quickly dismissed.

“The crew of the U.S. warplane that was shot down by Islamic State fighters near Ayn Asad Airbase is dead,” read a statement by the Amaq news agency.

The Islamic State claim did not specify whether the air crew was killed in the crash or captured alive and executed.

However, the U.S. military quickly rebutted the claim as false.

“There is no truth to reports of ISIL downing a U.S. aircraft near Anbar. All U.S. & Coalition aircraft accounted for at this time,” the U.S. Central Command posted on Twitter.

U.S. airplanes have been flying over the Islamic State’s “caliphate” in western Iraq and eastern Syria in support of a recent offensive by the Iraqi government.

U.S. forces are also involved in Syria’s civil war, in which the Islamic State is one of the parties.

Ayn Asad Airbase is a joint Iraqi-U.S. post in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province, about 100 miles west of Baghdad, near the front lines of the Iraqi offensive against the Islamic State,

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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