After watching several Mil Mi-8/17 Hip and Mil Mi-25 Hind gunship helicopters, L-39 combat trainers, Mig-23 fighter bombers and also some drones being employed by the Assadists against the rebels, here’s the first video (to my knowledge) showing a Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-21 Fishbed firing rockets on Free Syrian Army positions on Al-Mayadeen, near Dayr az-Zawr, in eastern Syria, on Aug. 18, 2012.
Some weeks ago, a Mig-21 defected to Jordan.
It looks like Assad is slightly unleashing all types of Syrian combat planes against the revolutionary forces before an eventual (quite expensive and dangerous) No-Fly Zone is established over the country.
H/T to Tom Cooper at ACIG.org for the interesting video.
- Video: Rebels down Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-23BN fighter jet in East Syria (theaviationist.com)
- This may be the first video taken on board a Syrian Arab Air Force gunship helicopter during a mission against the rebels (theaviationist.com)
- New videos show Syrian gunship helicopters dropping bombs on Homs and Damascus (theaviationist.com)
- Impressive video: Syria flexes muscles with live firing exercise including Mig-29s, Mig-23s, Mig-21s, Su-24s and gunship helicopters (theaviationist.com)
- [Updated] Syrian Air Force Mig-21 fighter jet defects to Jordan (theaviationist.com)
- Video shows Syrian Mil Mi-25 gunship releasing flares. A sign that rebels got their hands on MANPADS? (theaviationist.com)
There is a serious question about any eventual intervention.
How NATO will deal with LPI radars or Optical Targeting sights?
What SEAD asset do they have to deal with that kind of threat?
Few observations regarding SyAAF (Syrian Arab Air Foirce) ops in the last three weeks: fighter-bombers like MiG-21bis’ and MiG-23BNs are active over the (eastern) Syrian Province of Dayr az-Zawr already since early August (previously, only helicopter gunships were used there). It’s only so that connections to that part of Syria are poor and thus we’re only now learning about what’s going on there – namely that most of that city and the province are now in hands of the Free Syrian Army and other armed groups fighting against the regime, and that the regime is left with little else to hit back but with air power. Therefore, it’s not so as if the regime would ‘gradually escalate’ the situation through deployment of MiG-23s, then MiG-21s etc. Rather than this, the regime’s position in Dayr az-Zawr since early August is ‘desperate enough’ to deploy whatever is available. BTW, except for Dayr az-Zawr, the MiG-21s and MiG-23s were deployed to hit various targets in Idlib, Homs, and even Dera’a Provinces, in the last two weeks. In one instance, following defection of an entire SyAADF (Syrian Arab Air Defence Force) battalion from its base in Dmeyr to the rebel side, four MiG-23BNs have ‘had’ to bomb the town right next to the base where three squadrons equipped with Su-22s (fighter-bombers) and MiG-23ML (interceptors) are stationed…
Tom, thank you for the insightful update