Video shows U.S. B-1B bomber circling over Kobane during Syria air strike (with strobe lights turned on)

Oct 08 2014 - 10 Comments

Several media outlets have filmed a U.S. B-1 circling over Kobane during the air strikes on ISIS. Footage shows flashing light come out of the plane: most probably nothing more than a strobe light.

On Oct. 8, a B-1B “Lancer” from Al Udeid took part in the air strikes against ISIS militants around Kobane, the Syrian town located close to the border with Turkey.

As happened on the previous day, the aircraft performed a BAI (Battlefield Air Interdiction) mission, circling at high altitude for more than one hour. Several media outlets, including the CNN, filmed the plane. Some people noticed a weird intermittent flashing light coming out of the B-1B. Although someone wondered whether the light was generated by some sort of targeting device, the light was probably one of the aircraft strobes.

Why were the strobe lights turned on during a war mission inside foreign airspace? Most probably U.S. aircrews are more concerned of deconfliction with other traffic rather than being targeted by the enemy ground fire (the latter being a risk that should be taken into consideration as ISIS get their hands on anti-aircraft weaponry).

H/T to Johnny Hallam for the heads up


  • Julio

    B1 B is something else, is a bomber and flies as a fighter, how ?, I worked seven and half years in it as a mechanic, electrician and a F/L Q.A Inspector. That’s it Folks.

    • OldSarg

      Dyess and Ellsworth, OAS

  • JimNtexas

    I wonder if the ‘light’ is some sort of IR system, probably an IR jammer. Video cameras are more sensitive to IR than human eyeballs.

    • Ron Harper

      It’s a strobe light!

  • Carl

    I’m sure ISIS was terrified of a circling bomber…ONE circling bomber. I don’t understand why our government leaders aren’t pursuing a “black sky” policy and have A10’s and everything else in our arsenal looking for targets of opportunity. Granted we want to eliminate the threat to the US, but why not just look at it as a humanitarian mission? There are more people dying of beheading than ebola.

  • Darko

    That “strobe light” is conveniently located on the guns. Imagine that.

    • Ron Harper

      The B1 doesn’t have any guns!

  • Mike

    Do any other planes have that really cool altitude control system that allows the B1-B fly at like 200 feet and stay at 200 feet above the terrain no matter how it changes? Also, does that system really work that well? I heard that it was used in Afghanistan against Taliban while travelling at supersonic speeds, and just the sonic boom at 200 feet would injure and scare the Taliban.

    • OldSarg

      50 feet

  • Katana Sharp

    The B1B is the perfect heavy bomber for this terrain, its capacity to carry a heavy ordinance is what we need in dealing with ISIS targets while the A/OA-10’s or the “Warthog” or the “Hog”, is a
    strike aircraft or attack bomber and its secondary mission is to provide airborne forward air control, directing other aircraft like the B1B in attacks on ground targets. These aircrafts that are primarily used in this role are designated OA-10. The A/OA-10 aircraft was specifically developed as a close air support aircraft with reliability and maintainability as major design considerations, they were specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles. So in saying all this both the B1B and the A/OA-10 would be a perfect combination in dealing with ISIS from an aerial target(s) point of view and to their destruction.