Syrian helicopters’ PSYOPS missions: leaflet drop

Each conflict has its own Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).

During 2011 Air War in Libya, U.S. Air Force EC-130s broadcast radio messages to the Libyan military, to persuade them to return to their families before it was too late, whereas Italian C-130J aircraft dropped leaflets over Tripoli to counter Gaddafi’s regime propaganda in Libya’s capital city.

Air drop of leaflets in support of Information Operations have been conducted by the U.S. Army above Helmand province, Afghanistan, using U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to deliver information to areas of Helmand province unreachable by conventional communication.

Leaflets have been also air dropped by Syrian Arab Air Force Mil Mi-8 helicopters over Aleppo (reportedly on Aug. 18 and 28) to urge rebels to surrender to the Syrian Army.

Whilst some of these leaflets urged the locals not to shelter rebels and warning the Free Syrian Army it had one last chance to surrender, others were printed to look like pass, that would allow holder to cross security checkpoints.

Image credit BULENT KILIC/AFP/GettyImages

One of the basic leafleats read “Honourable citizens, don’t turn your homes into places for armed terrorist gangs and don’t assist them in killing the people of your country.”

While a double-sided one read on the front side:

“The holder of this pass is allowed to cross security forces checkpoints to surrender. The holder of this pass will be well treated and reunited with his family after verifications are conducted,” the leaflet read.

Back side:

“Your last chance to stay alive is to give up your weapons because there is nothing you can do against the Syrian army. Don’t miss that opportunity, go back to your family and stop fueling hatred around you”.

Image credit: BULENT KILIC/AFP/GettyImages

About David Cenciotti 3795 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.