Assad’s choppers now capable to perform dual barrel bomb attacks.
Footage released lately by SMART Syria news agency shows a Mil Mi-25 (the export version of the Soviet Mil Mi-24 Hind) dropping two improvised barrel bombs, on Free Syrian Army positions.
Since they were used for the first time in combat, single 1,500 – 2,000 lb bombs made of barrels filled with explosives, shrapnel or oil were dropped by the cargo door of the Mi-8/17 Hip helicopter or the wing pylons of the Mi-25 gunships one at a time.
Now it seems the Syrian Hinds have got the capability to drop two at a time, with doubled devastating effects: according to some sources, barrel bombs have caused some 20,000 casualties since the beginning of the uprising in 2011.
Although still unconfirmed, it looks like Israeli planes have conducted raids against Hezbollah targets.
Several media outlets in both Lebanon and Israel are reporting about a series of air strikes conducted by Israeli warplanes in the evening of Feb. 24 on the Lebanese-Syrian border area.
Al-Arabiya TV quoted witnesses according to those “more than two Israeli airstrikes have targeted Hizbullah posts in the outskirts of the towns of Janta, Brital and al-Nabi Sheet,” even if it is still unclear whether the airstrikes hit targets located inside Syria or Lebanon.
According to Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency two Israeli airstrikes were conducted on “the outskirts of al-Nabi Sheet near the Lebanese-Syrian border,” whereas LBCI TV said the Israeli planes struck targets “in the countryside facing the towns of Janta and Yahfoufa,” inside Syria.
Similar attacks were launched against Syrian targets in May 2013, one of those hit a convoy with weapons destined to Hezbollah near Damascus with PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) and plenty of EW (Electronic Warfare) support.
Image credit: IAF
Written with David Cenciotti
Syrian Arab Air Force bombers are constantly pounding rebel forces across Syria.
Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer, Mig-29 Fulcrum and Mig-23 Flogger bombers are those most frequently depicted in footage emerging on a daily basis from Damascus, Idlib and any other city or village where loyalist forces fight Free Syrian Army insurgents.
Noteworthy, clear blue skies and better cameras are providing some clearer shots of the Syrian planes usually operating at high altitude.
Furthermore, Assad planes are also continuing to threaten Turkey’s borders: according to a Turkish military statement, on Dec. 27, two Turkish Air Force F-16s were scrambled to intercept a Syrian Su-24 that approached the border.
The SyAAF Fencer moved away from the border when it was only 5 nautical miles from violating the Turkish airspace.
Similar incidents have already taken place several times since a Turkish RF-4E was shot down in Syrian airspace in Jun. 2012. On Sept. 16, a Syrian Mi-17 Hip helicopter was shot down by a Turkish F-16 after flying into Ankara’s airspace for 2 km ignoring any warning.
A couple of days ago, two Yasir drones were shot down (or crashed) in Syria.
The made-in-Iran UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) based on the American ScanEagle is just the latest addition to the Syrian regime’s fleet of drones that have been used to spy on rebels across the country.
One of the first types spotted after the beginning of the uprising is the Mohajer 2, another Iranian drone that then “disappeared” from the skies over Syria, to be replaced by “Pahpad”, Mohajer-3, several DIY models and eventually Yasir.
However, on Dec. 9, a drone that seems to be a Mohajer 2 appeared over Damascus.
A new batch just delivered or one of the old examples preserved until now?
H/T to Matt Fanning for the heads-up
Taken on Nov. 30, the following images show a Syrian Arab Air Force MiG-23ML using B-8 pods to fire rockets to ground targets located at Jabal Azzawiyah, Idleb province, Syria.
Such pods are used to fire 80-mm S-8 unguided rockets, a kind of weapon that was employed by both SyAAF Mil Mi-25 gunship helicopters, Mig-29 Fulcrum and Su-22 attack planes.
H/T to Luftwaffe A.S. for spotting this impressive sequence