U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle jet supports PSYOPS in Syria, drops leaflets over Islamic State insurgents

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle has delivered leaflets over ISIS insurgents in Syria.

On Mar. 16, a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet deployed in the Gulf region has conducted an unusual mission: it has dropped some 60,000 leaflets over Raqqa region, the ISIS stronghold in Syria.

The leaflet depicts a gruesome drawing, showing 7 men being lined up for a meat grinder (labelled “Daesh”) by a “Daesh Recruiting Office” (Daesh is the Arabic acronym for ISIS).

The leaflets were released by means of a PDU-5B leaflet canister.

The purpose of the leaflet is to support PSYOPS (Psychological Operations) in Syria. The message of the leaflet is clear: those recruited by ISIS will find themselves in a meat grinder.

Leaflet Daesh

Image credit: U.S. DoD

During 2011 Air War in Libya, U.S. Air Force EC-130s broadcast radio messages to the Libyan military, to persuade them to return to their families before it was too late, whereas Italian C-130J aircraft dropped leaflets over Tripoli to counter Gaddafi’s regime propaganda in Libya’s capital city.

Air drop of leaflets in support of Information Operations have been conducted by the U.S. Army above Helmand province, Afghanistan, using U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to deliver information to areas of Helmand province unreachable by conventional communication.

Leaflets have been also air dropped by Syrian Arab Air Force Mil Mi-8 helicopters over Aleppo in August 2012 to urge rebels to surrender to the Syrian Army.

Israeli A-4 dropped leaflets over Gaza in the past as well.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Could someone please translate what is written on the sign hanging from the ceiling, on the grinder, and on the monitor on the right wall?

    • Sign: “Daesh Employment Office”

      Grinder: “Daesh”

      Monitor: “Now Serving Number 6,001”.

    • the sign on the top says “Daesh (ISIS) employment office”
      the grinder has the word “Daesh”, the arabic acronym for ISIS (they don’t like being called by it)
      finally the top right screen says “now serving #6001” using indian drawing of numbers and a syrian accent in the wording, maybe for localization.

      I wouldn’t say they told the syrians anything they didn’t know about isis, but the syrian’s choices are limited and i don’t think these pamphlets will be any help, hope i’m wrong though.

  2. Sorry, but I tried to come up with a psyops claim that might actually carry weight with these ISIS recruits and drew a complete blank.

    In WWII, SS troops dying for “the Fatherland” typically did not believe in an afterlife. Hitler bragged about that. They got nothing themselves from their sacrifice.

    These ISIS guys think they’ve got 72 virgins ready and waiting for them (or perhaps tied to a bed ready to be raped), after they pass through that meat grinder. That’s a totally different kind of madness.

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