The following video, shows a Mil Mi-25 Hind gunship releasing flares during a mission over Talbiseh, Syria on Aug. 15.
Flares are high-temperature heat sources ejected from the aircraft’s dispensers to mislead the missile’s heat-seeking targeting system: since the burn temperature is hotter than that at the engine’s exhaust the burning flares attract and decoy heat-seeking missiles fired at the aircraft.
Since this kind of countermeasure is used against IR (Infra-Red) air-to-air and surface-to-air missile, the fact that an Assad chopper has released flares during a flight might be a sign it was locked by a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System) in the hands of the rebels.
Lately, Syrian regime helicopters have mainly operated at high altitude most probably because of the threat of anti-aircraft artillery fire (a Mig-23BN was gunned down at low/medium altitude) and MANPADS.
H/T to Damien Spleeters for the heads-up
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- New videos show Syrian gunship helicopters dropping bombs on Homs and Damascus (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian revolution puts instructions on how to shoot down a regime helicopter on-line (theaviationist.com)
- Video: Rebels down Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-23BN fighter jet in East Syria (theaviationist.com)
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- Here is why the alleged video of a Syrian regime helicopter downed by rebels doesn’t show a shot down gunship (theaviationist.com)