“If ISIS is flying, or is thinking about flying, it will not be doing so for very long”

ISIS appears to have a number of Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatross aircraft, traditionally used for advanced training and light attack. The terrorist group has produced at least one propaganda video purported to show the Czech-built jets in the air. But even if ISIS does have a rudimentary air force, it is basically useless in any true military sense according to U.S. officials and American military pilots.

“I’d sell my first born to engage all three… by myself,” one highly experienced U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot joked. Another Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle pilot said, “Send me in coach!  There’s no way they get those airborne!”

“We’re not talking about aircraft that are extremely effective at delivering ordinance both in terms of equipment and training,” said one U.S. Air Force official. “It’s simply not worth it beyond an easily discreditable propaganda ploy.”