The Islamic State has released photographs purporting to show its fighters downing an Iraqi helicopter near Baiji with a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS). The photos were disseminated on Twitter by Islamic State supporters after being posted elsewhere on the Internet. The terrorist organization has taken to releasing its propaganda via its supporters on Twitter as the majority of its official accounts are continuously being suspended by the social media site.
The photos bear the title of Wilyat Salahaddin, as Baiji is located within that administrative division of the Islamic State.
Media reports indicate that two Iraqi Army helicopters have been shot down near Baiji over the past week. According to DW:
Defense officials in Baghdad said IS [Islamic State] militants used a shoulder-fired missile to down an Iraqi military helicopter near the town of Bayji, home to the country’s largest oil refinery, located about 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad. The two pilots on board were killed. It is the second Iraq military helicopter shot down over Baiji by the IS in one week.
Along with releasing pictures showing the downing of an Iraqi helicopter, the Islamic State recently published a guide on how to shoot down Apache helicopters. The guide comes with instructions on the use of MANPADS. For instance, in one paragraph it says: “Determination of [the] launching area: Preferably somewhere high. The roof of a building or a hill that is on a solid surface [ground] in order to prevent the appearance of dust following launching.” In addition, the instructions include a diagram of an Apache.
The Islamic State has previously shot down several Iraqi Army helicopters in Salahaddin province. Two helos were downed during an aborted attempt to retake Tikrit in late June. And in mid-August, the Islamic State shot down two more helicopters when it overran Camp Speicher, a large base just outside of Tikrit.
The photos of an Islamic State fighter firing at and hitting an Iraqi Army helicopter can be seen below:
Oren Adaki provided a translation from the Islamic State’s handbook for Apaches in this article.
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