New video may show Russian Il-78 tanker escorted by Su-24 Fencer jets over Syria today

Sep 20 2015 - 3 Comments

Provided this video is true and taken in Syria today, it may suggest more Russian aircraft are being deployed to Latakia airfield.

The following video was allegedly filmed in Homs on Sept. 20.

Although the quality of the footage is quite scarce, the video seems to show four Su-24 Fencer attack planes trailing an Il-78 tanker aircraft (or an Il-76 cargo plane) probably heading towards al-Assad IAP, south of Latakia, where four Russian Su-30SM multirole planes are already based.

If genuine (it must remembered that some pictures exposed earlier this month proved to be fake), the clip may prove that Russia is deploying more combat planes to Syria to sustain the air war against ISIS (even though we can’t rule out other possibilities, for instance, that those depicted in the video are Syrian Su-24s escorting a Russian cargo/tanker – we have just to wait until a new satellite image emerges)

The Su-24 Fencer is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union and serving, among the others, with the Syrian, Iranian and Libyan Air Force.  It’s twin-engined two-seater plane with a variable geometry wing, designed to perform ultra low-level strike missions.

Although it was born as an interdiction aircraft, ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and Recce (Reconnaissance) variants of the Su-24 (respectively designated Su-24MP and MR) were produced and are currently in service with the Russian armed forces (Russian Air Force and Russian Navy).

In April 2014, a Russian Su-24MR flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, the U.S. Navy destroyer operating in the Black Sea, a maneuver U.S. authorities considered “provocative and inconsistent with international agreements.”

H/T to Guido Olimpio for the heads-up