U.S. Air Forces Central Command has just released some photographs from an “undisclosed location”: geolocation proves they are the first from a recently-built airbase in northern Syria.
CENTCOM has just published some interesting photographs of U.S. assets supporting Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. In particular, the images depict U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J operating from an austere runway at what the official captions refer to as an “undisclosed location”.
Here is one of those images:
However, the new images, taken between Jun. 20 and 23, 2018 and released by CENTCOM Public Affairs earlier today, were immediately geolocated by the OSINT investigator and famous Twitter user Samir (@obretix).
pictures of C-17 Globemaster and C-130J Hercules at the airfield between Tell Tamr and Tell Baydar in northern Syria https://t.co/40YctlK31n geolocated https://t.co/skGoiNNGxG (farm in the background https://t.co/3ZhlIkmgQf) pic.twitter.com/nDzpox2ON9
— Samir (@obretix) June 27, 2018
Therefore, those you can find in this post are, to our knowledge, the very first photographs showing operations at a new U.S./Coalition military base in Syria’s northeastern province of Al-Hasakah whose construction works were exposed by OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) analysis of satellite pictures in 2017 and completion appeared to be imminent or just finished at the end of April 2018:
new military base under construction between Tell Baydar and Tell Tamr including an airstrip of about 1.5km https://t.co/Q2qMsXzNPc pic.twitter.com/UQPQbWHjNo
— Samir (@obretix) April 23, 2018
Another U.S. airfield is located in northern Syria: Sarrin. The base was built in 2016 and the first aircraft appeared to operate from there in July 2017. Here below you can find a tweet with some recent images from there:
Sarrin airfield https://t.co/mMhwGnAvA0 https://t.co/wrLtns4eDY pic.twitter.com/nhxtByAkS3
— Samir (@obretix) June 5, 2018
Noteworthy, the images released today of the operations at the new airfield in Syria show an interesting KC-130J. This airframe (serial 167110), whose main role is to act as an aerial refueler, has a pretty career: back in 2010, the aircraft deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and was fitted with what was been dubbed the Harvest Hawk weapons system. Along with the traditional air-to-air refueling, and cargo and troop transportation tasks, the KC-130J from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California carried out several Close Air Support missions earning many mission markings firing AGM-114K and Griffin missiles.
H/T @obretix for the help in writing this article