Tag Archives: Syria

This may be the first video to show an ISIS jet in flight in Syria

A video, filmed in central Syria today allegedly shows the first ISIS jet in flight.

In the last few days, several media outlets reported the news that the Islamic State has started combat operations using “Mig” fighter jets from an airbase in Syria.

Indeed, in 2014, ISIS has captured two airbases in central Syria, Tabqa and Kshesh, where Islamic State fighters have seized some Syrian Arab Air Force airplanes. Among these aircraft, several Mig-21s and L-39s, some of those, if not airworthy, were probably at least in pretty good shape.

Photos of IS fighters posing next to intact L-39s at Kshesh, about 70 kilometers to the east of Aleppo, have been published on several websites and social media: some of them show the combat trainers in near operational conditions.

Obviously, the mere fact that some aircraft, with some missing parts were captured by ISIS, does not mean they now have an Air Force. Still, their capability to bring a few of those “Migs” to flight conditions should not be underestimated: with the help of the Iraqi personnel formerly serving with the Iraqi Air Force the three planes were reportedly brought back to operational status at Kshesh. Most probably piloted by Iraqi, IS supporters or mercenaries.

On Oct. 18, a video reportedly filmed near Kshesh emerged. It shows a jet landing at the airbase under IS control in central Syria.

Although it’s not easy to guess the type of aircraft, it may be an L-39.

As said, the fact that some aircraft have been brought to operational status is far from being surprising. What’s weird is that U.S. aircraft involved in Operation Inherent Resolve (as the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS was dubbed) have not yet targeted Kshesh airbase to wipe out the first three aircraft of the quite basic IS Air Force…

Top image is a file photo of a Syrian Arab Air Force L-39 during an air strike over Aleppo.

 

Video shows U.S. B-1B bomber circling over Kobane during Syria air strike (with strobe lights turned on)

Several media outlets have filmed a U.S. B-1 circling over Kobane during the air strikes on ISIS. Footage shows flashing light come out of the plane: most probably nothing more than a strobe light.

On Oct. 8, a B-1B “Lancer” from Al Udeid took part in the air strikes against ISIS militants around Kobane, the Syrian town located close to the border with Turkey.

As happened on the previous day, the aircraft performed a BAI (Battlefield Air Interdiction) mission, circling at high altitude for more than one hour. Several media outlets, including the CNN, filmed the plane. Some people noticed a weird intermittent flashing light coming out of the B-1B. Although someone wondered whether the light was generated by some sort of targeting device, the light was probably one of the aircraft strobes.

Why were the strobe lights turned on during a war mission inside foreign airspace? Most probably U.S. aircrews are more concerned of deconfliction with other traffic rather than being targeted by the enemy ground fire (the latter being a risk that should be taken into consideration as ISIS get their hands on anti-aircraft weaponry).

H/T to Johnny Hallam for the heads up

 

In photos: B-1B bomber refueled on its way to Syria air strike

A B-1B Lancer was refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker enroute to its targets in Syria.

On Sept. 27, a U.S. Air Force B-1B “Lancer” from 7 Bomb Wing, deployed at Al Udeid, Qatar, was part of a large coalition strike package that was engaging ISIS targets in Syria.

Air strikes in Syria

On its way to the target area, the supersonic strategic bomber was refueled mid-air by a KC-135 Stratotanker, one of the aerial refuelers (also based at Al Udeid) that have supported the U.S. air campaign both in Iraq and Syria, refueling coalition planes, during both daylight sorties and at night.

Air strikes in Syria

Here is a sequence of images, taken from the boomer point of view, showing the “Bone” approach the tanker, be refueled and then break away enroute to its target.

Air strikes in Syria

Sometimes, aerial refueling is required to extend the aircraft range enabling persistent ops in a certain area of operation: on Oct. 7, a single B-1B was spotted circling for more than 1 hour over Kobane, in northern Syria close to the Turkish border, during air strikes against ISIS.

Air strikes in Syria

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

[Photo] Rafale jets refuel over Baghdad during first French night air strikes in Iraq

This photo proves air-to-air refueling of armed planes involved in the air strikes in Syria and Iraq may also take place over large cities.

On the night of Oct. 2, the French Air Force Rafale multirole jets deployed to Al Dhafra, UAE, conducted an air strike in the area of Mosul, in Iraq.

It was the first night mission of the Rafales since the beginning of Operation Chammal (as the French have dubbed their participation to the air campaign against ISIS), another 7 hour mission which required several aerial refuelings from both FAF C-135FR and U.S. KC-10 Extender.

Whilst it was impossible to determine the town that was barely visible below the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets in the images and video we posted last week, in this case, the French Air Force not only posted the photographs, but also said that the city in the background is Iraq capitcal town Baghdad.

Rafale refuel Baghdad

Image credit: French Air Force / Armée de l’Air

 

 

Photo shows B-1B bomber break away from tanker and ignite afterburners at night during air strike in Iraq

A interesting photo shows a B-1B accelerate at night after refueling from a KC-135

B-1B bombers of the 7th Bomb Wing from Dyess AFB, deployed to Al Udeid airbase, in Qatar, have taken part in the air strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and then Syria, since August.

On top is an interesting photo showing one “Bone”(from “B-One”) refueling at night from a KC-135 during an air strike on Sept. 27, as it ignites the afterburners to accelerate in bound to the subsequent waypoint along its route.

Air strikes in Syria

Image credit: U.S. Air Force