Syria: this is what being fired upon by an L-39 jet looks like

The following video shows in impressive detail the strafing pass of a Syrian Arab Air Force L-39 jet using a 23 mm gun pod.

The combat trainer was attacking a ground target in Idlib and the footage was filmed from an almost frontal position bringing a new point of view to the several videos emerged so far. The aircraft performs the pass and subsequent turn as if it was flying a standard firing range pattern: the pilotis seemingly not worried by the possible reaction of the Free Syrian Army’s anti-aircraft artillery.

ACIG‘s Editor Tom Cooper has compiled a list of helicopters and fighter jets shot down in Syria.


  • 1 Mi-8/17 on Jun. 26 2012, shot down somewhere over Idlib Province
  • 1 Mi-8/17 on Aug. 27 2012, shot down over Damascus
  • 1 Mi-8/17 on Aug. 27 2012, damaged and forced to emergency land in Idlib Province
  • 1 Mi-8/17 on Aug. 29 2012, set afire on the ground (9 others appear to have been damaged by small-arms fire)


  • 1 L-39 on Aug. 12 2012, shot down while landing at Aleppo IAP (apparently already in emergency, otherwise it wouldn’t try to land there), probably damaged beyond repair
  • 1 MiG-23BN on Aug. 14 2012, shot down near Dayr az-Zawr, pilot PoW
  • 1 MiG-21bis on Aug. 30 2012, shot down while taking off from Abu ad-Duhor AB, pilot KIA (up to 19 others claimed as destroyed on the ground)

A (mock/inoperative?) Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-23MS was also hit on the ground at  Abu-Dhahur air base in the north west region of Idlib on Mar. 3, 2012.

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.