Illustrative image. AFP
There have been sporadic, but regular reports of "mysterious helicopters" extracting ISIS militants from battlefields in the Middle East.
Most recently, on November 13th, Syria's official news agency SANA cited an anonymous source claiming that US-led military helicopters conducted an operation in the village of al-Suwayda in Hasakah province near the border with Iraq. They reportedly rescued several members of ISIS and transported them to an unknown location.
Between November 10th and 11th, an alleged US-led aircraft landed in the outskirts of al-Susah in Deir Ezzor province and took away three ISIS members.
Earlier, on October 7th, SANA also cited residents of the town of al-Shaafah who claimed that American helicopters evacuated ISIS commanders from the Abu Kamal area of Deir Ezzor province to an undisclosed location.
SANA also reported that on September 22nd the US-led coalition carried out an air landing operation in the outskirts of al-Mrashde village located in the pocket where ISIS militants spread in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, transferring a number of ISIS commanders.
On August 23rd, TASS reported that Russia recorded flights of mysterious helicopters supplying weapons to ISIS units active in Afghanistan.
"We would like to once again point to the flights of unidentified helicopters in northern Afghanistan, which deliver weapons and ammunition to local ISIL units and Taliban members cooperating with the group. In particular, the Afghan media and local residents say that such helicopters were seen in the Sar-e Pol Province," Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
On March 19th, SANA cited an anonymous source who claimed that three US military helicopters had evacuated suspected ISIS commanders from northeastern Syria. Reportedly the helicopters landed between the villages of al-Jissi and Kalu, 2 km south of the Tal Hamis township in the Qamishli District of al-Hasakah province.
In late February, Syrian media reported that US helicopters had transported ISIS commanders and their family members to Sabah al-Khair, about 20 km south of al-Hasakah, where US forces have been accused of establishing a terrorist training base.
According to SANA on December 29th, 2017 US helicopters evacuated the ISIS commanders from the Deir Ezzor province to al-Hasakah province in northeastern Syria. Sources say this is the second time the US evacuates ISIS terrorists.
In May 2017, anonymous local Syrian sources revealed that, US military helicopters evacuated a number of ISIS terrorist group commanders out of their stronghold in Syria's Raqqa taking them to an undisclosed destination.
In May 2017, Mohammad Zahir Wahdat, governor of Afghanistan's northern Sar-e Pol province also claimed that unmarked military helicopters had touched down briefly in a known militant stronghold. Stationed Afghan Security Forces could not take pictures because it happened at night.
The Pentagon has repeatedly denied this reports claiming that it is not cooperating with ISIS in any kind. However, the problem is that the US military also denies that it has reached any kind of deals with ISIS in Manbij and Raqqah, which is an obvious lie. So, as reports about US helicopters evacuating ISIS members or providing supplies to them continue to appear, the concern is growing that Washington is still using ISIS as a tool in its geopolitical standoff with other powers.