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Daesh has captured some 27 MiG-21s and up to 13 (these are 'max numbers possible') at Tabqa and Ksheesh AB.

From photos and videos released by various Jihadists in August and September, I would say some 7-8 of these could be made operational. They have certainly captured enough arms and spares to repair them. Plus, they have ex-Iraqi Air Force officers and are actively recruiting anybody they can put their hands upon who has technical skills of some sort.

The Daesh imposed a sort of 'media ban' on what is it doing with these planes, but a video surfaced apparently showing a L-39 at low speed near Ksheesh AB. This sounds logical: the type is so easy to keep operational that there are more privately owned L-39s in the USA than serving with all possible air forces around the world.

As about what they might do with them: Daesh is no AQ, so they're unlikely to fly 'suicide' missions with them. They also want to establish a state: any state needs a military, and a military needs an air force - or at least some sort of a flying branch.

In that sense, please keep in mind:

- a) Back in the 1990s, using much less resources and having none of the global reach of the Daesh, the Taliban have established their own air force (the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan AF') under similar circumstances. This was left enough time to train until it became a combat effective branch, that was even air-policing the Afghan skies, flying CAS against the Northern Coalition, supporting ground troops with transports and helicopters etc. They could never match the US air power, of course, but they were enough for their requirements and purposes.

- b) Two years ago, Mozambiquans have collected whatever MiG-wreckage they could find around various of their airfields, and sent a handful of these for overhauls to Romania. The planes in question were not flown since early 1990s: most were completely derelict, exposed to elements (including torrential tropical rain and humidity) for 20+ years. Romanians returned 5-6 of them to fully serviceable condition...

Quite a few of MiG-21s captured by the Daesh look as 'in near operational condition' to me and Syrian deserts are rather dry when compared to Mozambique...

Therefore, I would say that the Daesh could easily follow in fashion of the Taliban - all provided it's left enough time.

Edited by TomCooper
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Let 'em have their little air force and the moment one gets to be even considered to be a threat, perhaps that UAE AF F-16 female pilot could blow one out of the sky.

No paradise for that little terrorist pilot wanna-be. Shot down and shot down by a woman. Has good symmetry.

Edited by madmike
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