There have been sporadic, but regular reports of “mysterious helicopters” extracting ISIS militants from battlefields in the Middle East.
Most recently, on November 13th, Syria’s official news agency SANA cited an anonymous source claiming that US-led military helicopters conducted an operation in the village of al-Suwayda in Hasakah province near the border with Iraq. They reportedly rescued several members of ISIS and transported them to an unknown location.
Between November 10th and 11th, an alleged US-led aircraft landed in the outskirts of al-Susah in Deir Ezzor province and took away three ISIS members.
Earlier, on October 7th, SANA also cited residents of the town of al-Shaafah who claimed that American helicopters evacuated ISIS commanders from the Abu Kamal area of Deir Ezzor province to an undisclosed location.
SANA also reported that on September 22nd the US-led coalition carried out an air landing operation in the outskirts of al-Mrashde village located in the pocket where ISIS militants spread in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, transferring a number of ISIS commanders.
On August 23rd, TASS reported that Russia recorded flights of mysterious helicopters supplying weapons to ISIS units active in Afghanistan.
“We would like to once again point to the flights of unidentified helicopters in northern Afghanistan, which deliver weapons and ammunition to local ISIL units and Taliban members cooperating with the group. In particular, the Afghan media and local residents say that such helicopters were seen in the Sar-e Pol Province,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
On March 19th, SANA cited an anonymous source who claimed that three US military helicopters had evacuated suspected ISIS commanders from northeastern Syria. Reportedly the helicopters landed between the villages of al-Jissi and Kalu, 2 km south of the Tal Hamis township in the Qamishli District of al-Hasakah province.