ISIS claims to have downed US ‘Reaper’ drone with classified systems
The Islamic State organization claimed in the predawn hours of Wednesday morning that it had shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone near the city of Tabqah in the area of Raqqah in northern Syria. It made the claim using several social media accounts identified with the terrorist organization. However, in a statement on Twitter, the US air force denied that the drone had been shot down, saying it self-destructed after experiencing a technical problem. There were also contradicting reports on social networks concerning the possibility that the drone was downed after ISIS fighters seized control of its guidance systems. The MQ-9, which has a 20-meter wingspan, can remain in the air for almost two days and reach an altitude of 15 kilometers. It has highly advanced weapons systems including Hellfire and Stinger missiles as well as classified surveillance and intelligence-gathering systems.