Syrian Mig-29 Fulcrums escorted the 28 Russian jets that deployed to Latakia hiding under cargo planes

According to our sources, some (if not all) the Russian Air Force formations that arrived in Syria were “greeted” by Assad’s Mig-29 Fulcrums.

A U.S. official who spoke to FoxNews has just confirmed what we reported with plenty of details yesterday: the 28 Russian Sukhoi jets hid under radar signature of cargo planes and made a stopover in Iran en route to Syria.

As already explained, the entire operation was closely monitored by the Israeli Air Force, that during and after the deployment launched several missions of G.550 Eitam CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) and G.550 Shavit ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) aircraft off Lebanon to gather intelligence on the Russians.

But, the Israeli spyplanes were not only “watching” the Sukhoi Su-30, Su-24 and Su-25 deploying to Latakia: they were most probably more interested in the Syrian Arab Air Force aircraft that were launched to greet and escort the Russians into the Syrian airspace. In fact, it seems that most if not all the formations of combat planes trailing the Il-76 cargo planes, were intercepted and escorted to Latakia by Syrian planes, including SyAAF Mig-29 Fulcrum jets, according to a source who spoke to The Aviationist under the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Russian planes deployed to Syria have reportedly flown their first local (familiarization) sorties. It’s not clear whether they were accompanied by Syrian planes but, for sure, Israeli ISR (intelligence surveillance reconnaissance) assets were pretty active all day on Sept. 24, circling between Cyprus and Lebanon as their tracks collected by ADS-B on show. Closely monitoring the Russians? Or the Syrian Migs? Most probably, both ones.



Top image: file photo of a Serbian Mig-29 (Wikimedia); bottom screenshots credit:

H/T to @obretix for contributing to this post

About David Cenciotti 4417 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.


    • The Turkish Cyprus folks are not the government body of Cyprus – unless you ask Turkey. British forces would gladly allow flights in international waters by Israel – I didn’t see any overflights in the tracks anyway.

  1. Mig-29 on the picture is Serbian plane, not Syrian! Serbia is in Europe and has nothing to do with the conflict.

  2. I guarantee our Aegis Destroyers saw every one of these planes coming in. That trick won’t work on Aegis.

  3. it is not apparent from the map how close everything is to israel, haifa to beirut are 150 km apart, 81 nm. it seems the G550 was flying in lebanon airspace, but dont worry, lebanon airforce pride is the Hawker Hunter FGA Mk70A and Cessna AC-208 “Combat Caravan” …

  4. There are people out there who trying to get the UN to declare a no fly zone over Syria. Of course the Russians will veto it and of course there are 28 reasons why they won’t allow it

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