18:56 GMT +324 March 2017
    A Syrian pilot prepares for a flight at the Syrian Air Force base in Homs province

    Air Force Multiplier: Courageous Warplane Pilots Helped Syria Survive

    © Sputnik/ Iliya Pitalev
    Middle East
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    The Syrian Air Force performed a real feat of arms, helping the country's government forces fight opposition and terrorist groups such as Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front, in a civil war that has ravaged Syria since 2011, according to Russian defense expert Ilya Kramnik.

    In an article published by the Russian news website Lenta.ru, defense expert Ilya Kramnik said that the Syrian Air Force accomplished a "real feat of arms" during the ongoing civil war in Syria, where the government forces continue to fight terrorist groups including Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front despite the hope offered by a recent ceasefire with anti-government forces.

    Kramnik specifically pointed to the fact that at the beginning of the war, Syrian pilots successfully carried out their missions while suffering from a lack of spare parts, modern ammunition, fuel and warplanes as well as unsufficient professionalism. 

    Su-22 fighter jet at the Syrian Air Force base in Homs province
    © Sputnik/ Iliya Pitalev
    Su-22 fighter jet at the Syrian Air Force base in Homs province

    Even after the situation changed in 2012, when Russia starting to send spare parts and military advisers to Syria, the heroic deeds of the Syrian pilots continued.

    In particular, Kramnik referred to the Syrian Air Force's MiG-21 fighter jets attacking the terrorists in the besieged city of Deir ez-Zor, where these warplanes had to lift off under enemy mortar fire with the pilots more often than not risking their lives.

     MiG-21 aircraft of the Syrian Air Force gets ready for a mission at the Hama airbase near the city of Hama, Syria's Hama Province
    © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
    MiG-21 aircraft of the Syrian Air Force gets ready for a mission at the Hama airbase near the city of Hama, Syria's Hama Province

    The expert said that apart from the Soviet-made MiG-21, the Syrian Air Force includes MiG-29M multi-purpose fighter jets, MiG-23BN and MiG-23ML jets, as well as Su-24 and Su-22M4 fighter bombers.

    MiG-23 of the Syrian Air Force on air base Hama
    © Sputnik/ Dmitry Vinogradov
    MiG-23 of the Syrian Air Force on air base "Hama"

    According to Kramnik, it is the fleet of the Su-24s, supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft   with a variable-sweep wing, which remains a core of the Syrian Air Force. These planes reportedly conduct up to 30 sorties per day in Syria, Kramnik said.

    A Russian Su-24 front-line bomber jet lands at Latakia airport, Syria
    © Sputnik/ Dmitry Vinogradov
    A Russian Su-24 front-line bomber jet lands at Latakia airport, Syria

    He recalled in this regard that adding to the Syrian Air Force's  anti-terror effort is Russia's ongoing air campaign in Syria which was launched on September 30, when more than fifty Russian warplanes, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 jets, commenced precision airstrikes on Daesh and Al-Nusra Front targets at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    In addition, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed earlier this month that advanced, super-maneuverable Su-35S multi-role fighters had begun their combat mission in Syria.

    Even so, it is too early to speak of the Syrian Army's full-fledged victory and speculate on how the Syrian war may end, Kramnik said.

    But the fact remains that the Syrian Air Force added considerably to the current crackdown of the country's army on the terrorists, who continue to retreat from strategic areas in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Latakia, the expert concluded.


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    fighter jets, ammunition, warplanes, ceasefire, pilots, civil war, Daesh, Al-Nusra Front, Syria
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    • ewt2020
      These Syrian pilots are unsung heroes, one day soon they will be recognized as being Arab heroes along with their comrades on the ground in their struggle against evil.
    • avatar
      Very timely and justified recognition. From a strategic viewpoint, people such as John McCain have drastically weakened US influence in the world. When is the last time NATO pilots had to endure anything of this nature? Would they be able to do it? We already know the answer for Syria.
    • FlorianGeyer
      Syria is within the area known as 'The cradle of civilisation'. The people that lived there were reading, writing and adding up whilst those in Western Europe were living like animals.

      The ancestors of the current Syrian people have a long tradition of bravery and fortitude.

      Bravo to them all.
    • avatar
      I salute Syria, well done, God bless you. History is being written, certainly a tide is coming , a page of History courageously written.
    • avatar
      Now that's what I call a real Air Force, flying regardless without much ammo, or anything, an example of Syrian courage, and tenacity, these men deserve respect.
    • Blackiein reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
    • FlorianGeyerin reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)

      That link you sent me seems to be rather suspect and the commentator a typical US evangelist loony. I hope your link is wrong wrong, but time will tell.
      An attack like that by the US would certainly cause WW3 and if so I just wish I am able to see the pictures of the US in flaming ruin's before I am murdered by American missiles.
    • Blackiein reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
      Tend to agree on that, but this niuclear WW111 three stuff is a bit monotonous and the fat Cats do not want to go into underground bunkers, and that would only postbone their deaths as when they surface...
      Do you think Krustchov could have won the nuclear stand off in the last Century?, and did Russia even have the"big one"? .
    • FlorianGeyerin reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)
      We are all aware that a major nuclear war and the subsequent nuclear winter for a few years would devastate our planet. The 'fat cats' in their bunkers would survive but when they exit their bunkers there would be no servants, little food, probably very little animal life and possibly a few people from remote areas who sheltered in mines etc. All the fat cats money would be worthless to them. A living death for them all is what they deserve.
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