SyAAF Su-22M-4 Shot Down (2015-09-17)

Yesterday, 17th Sep. 2015, a SyAAF Su-22M-4 operating from T4 airbase and piloted by Col. Muhammad Al-Hussein "العقيد محمد الحسين" was shot down over Jazal oil field area located around 40km to the north east of the said airbase.
ISIS media reported shooting down the aircraft claimed as 'MiG-21' which is apparently not.

This VIDEO below shows the remnants of the Su-22M-4 such as the tail fin and the drag-chute compartment.


SyAAF Mi-8/17 Shot Down (2015-09-15)

Pilot Manhal Yunes in front of the 2932 Mi-17

Today 15th Sep. 2015, around 00:30 midnight, a SyAAF Mi-8/17 -serial is still unknown- operating from Al-Neyrab AB (Aleppo IAP) and piloted by Col. Manhal Yunes "العقيد الطيار منهل يونس" and Ali Othman "الطيار علي عثمان" was shot down over Al-Neyrab town nearby the airfield resulting in the death of the crew.

The Hip which took off on its way to the besieged Kweres AB was targeted twice by MANPAD fired by Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyah "الجبهة الشامية" personnel when maneuvering low over Sheikh Lutfi area. The first missile lost the target while the second successfully hit the helicopter which crashed over an urban area.


CONFIDENTIAL: Gaddafi's Floggers in Syria!

At last, I found them, since this photo -above- came to public more than two years ago, I knew I will find them here in Abu DhHur! Yes, they are the lost Floggers Muammar Al-Gaddafi donated to SyAAF during the 1982 war with Israel.

The story I heard from my beloved man some 25 years back, the words in my mind just sound as I was told yesterday: shortly and few days
after the war started between Syria and Israel in and over Lebanon in 1982, Syrian Arab Air Force suffered unbelievable losses of aircraft in air combats against much advanced air force equipped that time with the latest electronic warfare technologies resulted in the loss of around 70 aircraft between MiG-21MF/bis, MiG-23MS/MF/BN and Su-22M's in a matter of five days!

Col. Muammar Al-Gaddafi the president of Libya and the friend of Hafez Al-Assad that time, promised to compensate any loss SyAAF suffers at this war, he truly fulfilled his commitment and started to deliver MiG's to Syria but...after the third day, he gave up when the losses reached around 20 aircraft with a big chance the number will increase the coming days.

The MiG's he has donated were MiG-23MS's, around 10 airframes used later on and for years by SyAAF until this variant was withdrawn from service and put in storage in early 2000's and then was completely decommissioned/scrapped on 2011.

The key-map below -which is self explanatory- explains the location of MiG-23MS's in the bone yards in the north western side of Abu DhHur airbase. Referring to footage of photos and videos released for the airfield after it was overrun by Jaish Al-Fateh on 9th Sep. 2015, I could count '7' Ex-LARAF Floggers shown in dark blue.

Key-map of the bone yards in Abu DhHur AB divided into two groups, eastern and western. (I recommend to save this image at your PC in order to open it in its full resolution)

A bird's eye shot for the western group of phased-out MiG's for better understanding and linking to the key-map above.

The Ex-LARAF Floggers can be easily distinguished by their light original camo pattern appeared after the new one -applied in the 'Factory' in Al-Neyrab AB during regular overhauls to these fighters- been washed out by weather.

The photo above taken at the western boneyard shows the Ex-LARAF MiG-23MS with its original '8332' serial number clearly readable after the new camo is washed out.
Also you can notice the Flogger at the background where it has its original serial number still hidden under the very 'casual' hand paint stroke.

In the eastern boneyard, I could find one Ex-LARAF MiG-23MS with visible original serial reads: '1835'.

For better understanding and comparison, I prepared the above image showing an operational LARAF MiG-23MS at the top explaining the location of serials and flash on the fin tail. The examples seen in Abu DhHur AB had the Syrian flag painted exactly over the Libyan one on the fin tail (and of course similarly the roundels on wings), got the serial on fin tail totally hidden -as SyAAF used to print the serial over flash on fin tail not under- and finally the SyAAF serial number 16xx was written over the LARAF one in the front fuselage.

Finally, I'm pleased Abu DhHur revealed its 'hidden treasures' and more pleased to share this exclusive story with SyAAF fans and lovers...of course I mean SyAAF before 2011 ;-)


Photos from SyAAF ABU DhHOUR AFB

On 9th Sep. 2015, Jaish Al-Fateh "جيش الفتح" led by Jabhat Al-Nusra "جبهة النصرة" overran Abu DhHour airbase and took control of the whole airfield. I'm not going to talk here about the operation in details as this was the fruit of more than two years of besieging the airbase with uncountable trials to penetrate the defensive lines to take over this base which a lot of towns around suffered from.
It's just important to mention the sand storm which rebels prefer to call "Gift from Heaven" which provided a cover from the SyAAF aircraft used to bombard the advanced rebels upon calls from the airbase itself.

The aircraft left in the airfield are just scraps and useless, most of them are the first generation of MiG-23MS which were delivered to SyAAF on 1974 just after the 73 war. The other MiG-21s are non airworthy anymore as the regime -and especially after downing two MiG-21bis sometime in 2012- worked to flee whatever operational out to Hama AFB.

I collected a lot of photos -with special thanks to all those allowed me to use their photos here in my blog- and watched hours of videos and came to prepare the below key-maps for the eastern and western sides of the airfield in order to understand the type/variant and location of each seen aircraft, I recommend to download them here with full resolution:

As can be seen, the aircraft inventory in this air force base is as below:

MiG-21 (5 in total):
- MF 1518
- MF 1942
- bis (unknown serial)
- UM 2369
- F-13 (unknown serial at the gate guard)

MiG-23 (17 in total)
- MS 1602
- MS 1605 (first SyAAF aircraft to be hit by ATGM at the beginning of the unrest)
- MS 1612
- MS 1619
- MS 1620
- MS (unknown serial 8 nos.)
- MF 2677
- UB 1750
- UB 1752
- UB 1795

Mi-8 (3 in total)
- T 1282
- T 2904 (knocked out when shelling the airfield by mortars)
- T (unknown serial, hit by ATGM on 8th Sep. 2014)

I will update this list in case more photos come to public: last updated 13th Sep. 2015

SyAAF 1282 (82) Mi-8, notice the rail fitted from inside the cabin back to the bottom of boom, this is for laying anti-tanks land mines

Knocked out SyAAF 2904 Mi-8 apparently by mortar hit when the rebels shelled the airfield

SyAAF MiG-21bis decommissioned inside a HAS (serial could be 2319)

SyAAF 1518 MiG-21MF

SyAAF 1942 MiG-21MF

SyAAF 2369 MiG-21UM inside one of the double HAS

There is large bone yard of MiG-23s at the western side of the airfield distributed on two groups

The western group of phased out MiG-23s is to the far west of the airfield include MS & UB Floggers

The second group is to the east of the first one and consists of MS Floggers only

The most recent aircraft phased out in this airfield is the on on the right of the photo which is the 1750 MiG-23UB

Inside a HAS the single MiG-23MF with serial 2677 decommissioned

R-60 and R-23/24 missiles are thrown beside this Flogger, they are not bombs finally and 'useless' for SyAAF in this civil war!

I tried a lot trying to read the serial of this MiG-23MS but did not come to an accurate conclusion, I just think it can read 1600

One of the most interesting photos here is for the 1620 MiG-23MS with its Sapphir PR-21 radar exposed

The 1750 MiG-23UB

Stunning bird's eye shot for the first group of phased out Floggers, the closest one is the 1620 MiG-23MS while the one next to it is the 1752 MiG-23UB

R-60 Air-to-Air missiles inside the HAS houses the 2677 MiG-23MF

R-23/24 Air-to-Air missiles also


First Photos from Abu DhHour AFB

Today, 9th Sep. 2015, a bunch of great photos came to public from Abu DhHour air force base after units from Jabhat Al-Nusra succeeded to penetrate the defenders and hold the gate and the western side of the airfield. We will expect more in the coming hours.
Above is units pose in front of phased out SyAAF MiG-23s (MS and UB).

Tail fin of a SyAAF MiG-23UB carries the serial 1754.

Could be the same UB here.

Bone yard of SyAAF MiG-23MS/MF/UB near the north eastern HAS's.

SyAAF MiG-23MF -sadly the serial is incomplete- decommissioned inside a HAS.

Remnants of R-23/24 air-to-air missiles.

Hope someone there is -as interested in serials as me- would make a photo tour recording all serials of those Syrian Floggers

What I'm still looking for is some photos for the MiG-21's at the furthest south eastern HAS's in the airfield in addition to clearer photo for the damaged 2904 Mi-17 there.


Spotted Aircraft/Aerial Vehicles over Syria: August 2015

Below is the list of spotted Aircraft and Aerial Vehicles' over Syria during the month August 2015:

IdlebJisr AsShughoor06-08-2015Su-22Mhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB67IYRxrOo
DamascusEastern Ghouta20-08-2015MiG-23BNhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-AqiSqql9Y
DamascusEastern Ghouta22-08-2015MiG-23BNhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQV_0RA51i4
DamascusEastern Ghouta24-08-2015MiG-23BNhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUjTttmutmI
IdlebAbu DhHour28-08-2015MiG-21https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebvl8wlU5LQ
IdlebSouthern County29-08-2015Su-22Mhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_lWY8NiJ9k