Syria: Mig-21 firing rockets caught on tape

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 for the interesting video.


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.


  1. 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?

  2. 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…

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