Some Twitter followers pointed me to this video allegedly showing a Syrian Arab Air Force Mil Mi-8 Hip helicopter, armed with machine guns, on a mission over Syria against the Free Syrian Army positions.
Although I’m unable to verify the authenticity of this video, it should be (at least according to the title) footage leaked from the Assad forces. The video, that appears to have been filmed with a mobile phone, shows the gunners on board the gunship handling machine guns through one of the chopper’s windows as the aircraft flies at high altitude with the cargo bay open.
Wing mounted UV-32-57 rocket pods are also quickly visible beginning at min 01:06.
Noteworthy, the gunner and other “passengers” wear civilian clothes: maybe this is an expedient to disguise themselves / blend in with the crowd in the event of an emergency landing.
Only another crew member (in the background at 00:54) seemingly talking to the pilots in the cockpit wears a military uniform.
Along with drones, Mil Mi-8 and Mil Mi-25 gunships, as well as L-39 combat trainers and Mig-23 fighter bombers are the aircraft most often spotted over Syria lately.
With Stinger MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) reportedly smuggled by the CIA to the rebels, all these aircraft will have a serious threat to face in the coming days.
- Video: Rebels down Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-23BN fighter jet in East Syria (theaviationist.com)
- Video shows Syrian Mil Mi-25 gunship releasing flares. A sign that rebels got their hands on MANPADS? (theaviationist.com)
- Video: Syrian Arab Air Force Mil Mi-25 high altitude bomb attack on Daal, Syria. (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian revolution puts instructions on how to shoot down a regime helicopter on-line (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian air war escalates: the Mil Mi-24 Hind gunship makes its debut against rebel forces (theaviationist.com)
- Hip helicopter videos from Syria (including footage of a Mil Mi-17 shot down by rebels) (theaviationist.com)
- New videos show Syrian gunship helicopters dropping bombs on Homs and Damascus (theaviationist.com)
- Here is why the alleged video of a Syrian regime helicopter downed by rebels doesn’t show a shot down gunship (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian Arab Air Force trainer jets turned into attack planes to strike rebel positions (theaviationist.com)
What is the yellow tank thingy for? A generic liquid container or something more specific? Can anyone identify it?
Isn’t it an internal fuel tank?
Yes, it is an auxiliary internal fuel tank
The guns appear to be PKM 7.62mm machine guns