This may be the first video taken on board a Syrian Arab Air Force gunship helicopter during a mission against the rebels

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.

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.