Video shows first direct hit of a Surface to Air Missile on a Syrian helicopter

The following video clearly shows a Syrian Mil Mi-17 Hip helicopter hit by a surface-to-air missile near Aleppo on Nov. 27, 2012.

Even if there we have seen many videos showing Assad’s gunships downed by rebels fire, this is the first one to provide evidence of a direct hit using a SAM.

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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. Hi David,
    How many gunships would Assad and his forces have had before the civil war began, and what do you think the number is now?
    Will he eventually run out of helicopters if the current rate of attrition continues?

  2. @Simon B-

    Per a recent article in the October issue of Air Forces Monthly the Syrian Arab Air Force has quite a large fleet of helicopters:

    100+ Mi-8T/Mi-17 Hips (70+ airworthy)
    40+ Mi-25 Hinds (30+ airworthy)
    20+ Mi-2 Hoplite (10+ airworthy)
    65+ SA 342L Gazelle’s (30+ airworthy)

    Based on information in Dave’s blog and other sources I opinion that perhaps a dozen or so helicopters have been lost.

  3. Tough thing that. Had it been a US helicopter (any of the known ones really), it would have likely exploded in a huge fireball, as we have seen them do in Iraq, with the loss of all crew. This one manages to land.

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