Then read the Yahoo story on how IS is now training pilots to fly combat aircraft:
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time that the militant group had taken to the air.
The group, which has seized land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report and U.S. Central Command said it was not aware of Islamic State flying jets in Syria.
U.S-led forces are bombing Islamic State bases in Syria and Iraq. The group has regularly used weaponry captured from the Syrian and Iraqi armies and has overrun several military bases but this was the first time it had been able to pilot warplanes.
“They have trainers, Iraqi officers who were pilots before for (former Iraqi president) Saddam Hussein,” Abdulrahman said.
“People saw the flights, they went up many times from the airport and they are flying in the skies outside the airport and coming back,” he said, citing witnesses in northern Aleppo province near the base, which is 70 km (45 miles) south of Turkey.
It was not clear whether the jets were equipped with weaponry or whether the pilots could fly longer distances in the planes, which witnesses said appeared to be MiG 21 or MiG 23 models captured from the Syrian military.
Emphasis mine, because people that actually know military hardware reported a different type of aircraft:
Although the report does not name the aircraft types being used, the Syrian group Jaish al-Islam captured a number of Aero L-39ZA Albatros trainer/light attack jets when it overran Al-Jarrah (also known as Al-Jirah or Kshesh) Airbase in May 2013. The Islamic State reportedly took the base from Jaish al-Islam in January.
Big difference between a Czech trainer and a MIG 21 or a MIG 23. And the important thing is the logistics. Training pilots is of no use unless they have people to maintain these old crates, spare parts to do the maintenance with, and fuel and ordinance to do anything with. Not to mention that all these aircraft wouldn’t be more than easy targets for any actual air assets operating against them or ground launched anti-air ordinance.
In short, this story is much ado about nothing, and they couldn’t even get the details right.