There’s a lonely Il-76T cargo plane over central Syria right now

In spite of the U.S. and allied air strikes over Syria, there’s a Russian Il-76 over central Russia right now.

Not only U.S. combat planes including F-22s and F-16s are currently operating inside the Syrian airspace.

According to a lonely Il-76T cargo is currently overflying central Syria. Interestingly, in spite of the Syrian registration “YK-ATB” FR24 tagged the plane as Russian Air Force…

Callsign is “Manny6”.

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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. Nothing unusual in YK-ATB making internal Syrian flights or flights to Iran. Also if it was a Russian IL-76 then it would require diplomatic over flight permission from surrounding countries. In answer to Alois question not a chance of such weapons being flown in. Again diplomatic clearance would have to be arranged with the cargo manifest listed as an arms transfer. Far too embarrassing for Russia if the aircraft is requested to land for a cargo check. Russia resupplies Syria not through airlifts but by the ‘Syrian Express’ Russian Navy runs from the Black Sea. Just look at the number of Large Landing Ships that have conducted this run for years now. See link of Russian Naval movements through the Turkish Straits links.

    The following was Russian Air Force Il-76 flights when they were delivering equipment and vehicles for the chemical weapons removal and security with full overflight clearance from Turkey.

    Movement history of YK-ATB

    See following for Russian Navy Large Landing Ships from Black Sea. They do the regular Syrian Express runs. No requirement for diplomatic clearance and no customs/cargo checks.

    Also Alois, if Syria was to get S-400s they wouldn’t last very long with Israel watching their every move. Even rumours of S-300s and other weapons supplies at export level was enough to get Israel striking targets inside Syria. Pointless Syria getting S-400s when they will be taken out by Israel.

    • Nothing wrong for sovereign state of Syria to buy weapons from Russia. If anybody think otherwise, they must be insane…like US leader.

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