Evaluating Reports About Allegedly Destroyed Russian Aircraft At Khmeimim Air Base In Syria

Donate

On January 3, the Russian daily Kommersant reported that militants shelled Russia’s Khmeimim air base in Syria on December 31. Kommersant said that four Su-24 attack aircraft, two Su-35S multi-role fighters and one An-72 transport aircraft were damaged or destroyed and 9 service members may received injures in the incident.

Experts immediately said that the provided number of the destroyed aircraft is very questionable because it is hard to believe that a short shelling by medium caliber mortars could cause such a damage. For example, on April 7, 2017 the US Navy launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shayrat Airbase controlled by the Syrian government. According to open data, the 59 cruise missiles destroyed 10 aircraft at the airbase. This example shows while the reports about the 7 aircraft destroyed by a mortar strike caused mistrust.

On January 4, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the reports about 7 destroyed aircraft are false and that “Russia’s air group in Syria is combat ready and continues to accomplish all its missions in full.”

On the same day, photos showing a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft with damaged tail fins at the Khmeimim air base appeared online. The photographed Su-24 was allegedly located at the air base in Syria and had the aircraft number “29”. MORE PHOTOS

Evaluating Reports About Allegedly Destroyed Russian Aircraft At Khmeimim Air Base In Syria

Click to see the full-size image

On January 5, the Russian state-run media released a video from Khmeimim showing a Su-24 attack aircraft with the same aircraft number.

Evaluating Reports About Allegedly Destroyed Russian Aircraft At Khmeimim Air Base In Syria

Click to see the full-size image

Summing up info from open sources and SouthFront’s sources from the Syrian Arab Army, it’s possible to make the following conclusion:

  1. The December 31 shelling of the Khmeimim air base is a fact.
  2. It’s likely that the shelling took place because of negligence of some units of Syrian and Russian security forces.
  3. Approximately 3 aircraft suffered some damage from mortar fragments as a result of the shelling. No aircraft was destroyed.
  4. Some major Russian media twisted the facts in their reports in order to discredit the Russian military grouping involved in the operation in Syria.
  5. Misrepresentation and twisting of facts have become a common approach for some major Russian media outlets recently. This is linked to the ongoing presidential campaign in Russia. The presidential election will take in March, 2018. Such reports are an attempt to discredit the foreign and internal policies of the current Russian leadership.

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • John Mason

    On the ‘More Photos” link it shows a plane that has liquid coming out of the fuselage. It is not oil and their is no water stored in the fuselage. It can not be aviation fuel because it is invisible and highly flammable and toxic, it would have immediately had emergency services present to contain the leak. Photoshop? Anyway it is fake which throws doubt on the whole report as being legitimate.

    • Graeme Rymill

      “It can not be aviation fuel because it is invisible” What’s invisible according to you: aviation fuel or the liquid shown in the photo?

      ” it would have immediately” you left this unfinished… immediately what?

    • Graeme Rymill

      I think it is possibly aviation fuel. Aviation fuel isn’t so invisible it can’t be photographed!!!!

    • as

      Actually the damages on the tail shouldn’t leave a sheets of shredded metal like that due to different types of construction it uses.

      • Graeme Rymill

        It is an all metal construction isn’t it? So it will have a thin metal skin covering the internal structure. Please share with us your understanding of “different types of construction it uses” so we can see what you are getting at with greater clarity.

        • as

          They’ll have ribs. Lots of them in interval. And most certainly they’re not as thin as a tin cans.
          I could be wrong sure but if they’re made in one parts they’ll use composite materials that doesn’t break in the same manner as that.
          And that shouldn’t be hollow.

          • Graeme Rymill

            They are likely thin!!! For example:

            What is the average thickness of fuselage skin panels on the F-15 and F-16?

            “The contract specification for the F-15 required the thickness to be 0.10 inches”…. ”
            The fuselage skin thickness for the F-16 varies from 0.125 inches to 0.5 inches.”

            If the aircraft in the photo is an SU-24 my understanding is that no composites were used.

          • as

            Fuselage has skin? They’re not considered hulls?

          • Graeme Rymill

            sorry don’t know what you mean…

          • as

            Ah skin sheet as in the outermost layer for primer? Were they made of metal in the first place?

      • Joe

        My opinion is that it was not from mortar attack as it is impossible to damage just the fin. Look at the other parts of the plane. No shrapnel.
        Mortar rounds spread shrapnel all round not a big chunk projectile to damage just one spot

        Just impossible

        • as

          If it’s broken like that i can only assume that something snag at it on the runway.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            This damage happens with hard landings and don’t be surprised this is common place happens in the US if a cross wind catches the tail section this can happen.
            There were a couple people disputing this when I noticed the inconsistencies with the photos with no shrapnel damage being missing.

    • Tudor Miron

      John, it can not be a fuel leak – just watch how jet fuel tanks are made on Russian (and others) fighters – youtube for example. I actually doubt that it can be hydraulics (hydraulic lines are also surrounded by special foam and stuff to prevent leaks when penetrated by incoming fire (be it bullets or fragments from GA or AA warhead). So yes, photoshop can’t be ruled out in this case.

      • John Mason

        Correct Tudor, I have flown a SU24B.

    • Garga

      John, jet fuel is colourless (like water) or straw-coloured. It’s flash point for type A is about 38C/100F, meaning in normal ambient temperature it doesn’t produce a flammable mixture if the fuel is not warm enough. It’s unlike gasoline (flashpoint about -40C). It’s boiling point is about 170C. Type B which is used in extremely cold weather is more flammable and dangerous but I don’t think they use this type in Syria.
      Anti-static substances is added to jet fuels to prevent auto-ignition. Military jet propellants are more or less the same, except for their additives.

      I couldn’t find any info about the location of Su-24 internal fuel tanks or if the part shown in the pic contains any fuel or fuel lines with a simple search.

      I don’t mean that the claim of 7 jets destroyed is true. I think it’s a gross exaggeration, but at the same time I think we should look somewhere else, like the current situation of the Su-24 with that number in recent pics and so on.

      • Tudor Miron

        Main fuel tanks are located in the wings and between wings as far as I remember but I will check it out.

        • Garga

          Thank you.
          So in the picture with leak, can it be the fuel warmer tubes around the engine or nothing liquid goes there? I saw them in rocket engine “bells”, but I don’t know if this jet engine employs them.
          There are a few small hatches (4 I guess) in the pic which one of them leaks.

          • Tudor Miron

            Could be many things – I don’t know for sure. Anyway there are measures to prevent leaks of flameable liquids.
            I was never interested much in Su-24. Su-25 (this ugly but cute Grach) was more appealing to me (after Su-27 family which was born in the same year as I)

        • Graeme Rymill

          I looked at an English version of this diagram: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=98895 (number 48 in the English version states ” Forward fuselage fuel tank, total internal capacity 11860 litres, (2,609 Imp gal) in three tanks. This leads me to understand there are 2 other tanks elsewhere but presumably for space reasons not shown in the cutaway. Other sources say 4 internal fuel tanks.

          this site http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/su24/ states that “Fuel is accommodated in fuselage integral tanks.”

        • Rob

          Moron you are helping terrorists. I know Trump intelligence organization have targets the Russian military airbase in Syria through own terror networks i.e. Israel, ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Now these terror networks will pay for these attacks.

          • Tudor Miron

            How do I help terrorists may I ask? I publish pictures that are freely avalable on the net?
            Did you call me Moron by mistake (o insteed od i) or was it intentional. Not that such can bother me but to know who I’m talking to.

      • John Mason

        Leak is from engine compartment, no fuel stored there, fuel carried in the wings and external pods.

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      That truck in the background and the tail section bother me as they don’t look right just as the shadows don’t, truck has a long front end and the lower fin has a blue triangle on it and the streak looks different in length on the tail section.. There are many things wrong with the photo the more you look at it. They mat be both Photoshop photos looks bad when only look at the damage and not everything else.

    • tom

      Lymphatic fluid? 8-

  • BL

    From the article:

    “4. Some major Russian media twisted the facts in their reports in order to discredit the Russian military grouping involved in the operation in Syria.”

    Looks like Russia has a deeply rooted CIA controlled 5th column openly operating in its territories. This is a very unwise and dangerous position to be in. There needs to be a grass roots Russian movement demanding the government to remove such obvious enemy operations.

    • as

      They’re the so called democratic sect follower. In reality both democracy and socialism isn’t an opposing side of a coin. It can work together depends on the demographic attitudes and social awareness.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Any system of governance relies on control systems of some sort that range from slavery by brute force to slavery by debt and many systems in between. One being slavery by ‘cult’.

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          The last being a good description of the US in particular.

          • FlorianGeyer

            That’s why I cannot find any enjoyment in US movies :)

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Try spaghetti westerns and Jackie Chan movies all less to do with the US cheer leading , or you can watch The Vikings the Chronicles of Ragnar Lothbrok a Canadian produced Series.

          • They’ve really gone to the dogs……

          • FlorianGeyer
        • as

          http://www(dot)moonofalabama.org/2018/01/trump-offloads-foreign-policy-problems-lets-eu-grow-a-spine.html#more

          An interesting article about recent UNSC call. Real shame for Nikki when she imagined herself led the inquisitor to condemn, humiliates, and finally punish Iran before going home in glory showered in praise and admiration from her friends.

          • FlorianGeyer

            I read that and it makes sense as the old guard of the EU are essentially anti Trump but with a bit more finesse that the Libtards in the US. The EU care little for Iran except their money. Nikki Haley does seem rather dull and I daresay Trump knew that when he gave her the job in the UN.

            Middle America would actually be better off if the troops came home and were utilised to repair America and the tanks melted down for
            re-construction steel.

      • Tudor Miron

        Social and individual awarness is the key here.

    • FlorianGeyer

      However the very fact that they twist the facts in situations such as this places a big red flashing light on their heads over a sign that says ” посмотри на меня “.

      Its better to have proof early in the election cycle and to sort the problem out .

    • Tudor Miron

      Many do not realise that there’s actual freedom in Russia and often it is abused but enemies of the state. And yes, “ruzionic” elite is very much still in control of major banks, media etc. I hate to say but yes, 5th column here is one of the strongest in the world but this is not news.

      • ruca

        С Новым Годом!

        • Tudor Miron

          С Новым Годом и Рождеством!

          • ruca

            Как отмечал?

          • Tudor Miron

            Дома с семьей :)

          • ruca

            Это правильно))

    • Valery Grigoryev

      No. Please, don’t care about conspiracy theories regarding CIA roots etc.
      It was just a plot of a ‘sensation hunting’, which mass-media sources provide from time to time to increase their popularity.

      • Tudor Miron

        Valery, don’t want to offend but it’s a bit naive to think about mass media as simply sensation hunters. Mass media is one of primary instruments of 1st priority of conceptual (global in this case) governing which is methodology/ideology or simply saying public opinion regarding what is good and what is bad.

        • Valery Grigoryev

          Please, kindly take note, that the owner of the Kommersant Holding group is a billionaire Alisher Usmanov, which is the one of the cornerstone supporters of Vladimir Putin, being under personal sanctions assigned by the US.

          • Tudor Miron

            Alisher Usmanov is not cornerstone of Putin. Usmanov is one of those who looted this country during 90-s. Usmanov may pretend that he is with Putin because of overhelming support that he has from population but he will sell Putin, this country and what not in a heartbeat. Yes, they coexist and Usmanov’s of this world have lots of power but times are changing if slowly.

    • Barba_Papa

      Or maybe its a sign of a healthy democracy? That the stories in the West of Putin enjoying total medal control are highly exaggerated?

      • BL

        There’s nothing “healthy” about Democracy. Socrates proved this fact thousands of years ago and got killed for it. There has never been a dumber idea than “Majority rule” when it is easily provable that the majority are almost always ignorant.

        • Langaniso Mhlobo

          Very true intellectually there are groundswell enquiries about today’s legacy.

        • Barba_Papa

          >>The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.<>It has been said democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.<<

          Good ole' Winston Churchill was a wise man indeed.

          The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
          Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/winston_churchill
          The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
          Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/winston_churchill

        • tom

          Well, democracy would be a good system if the majority were intelligent, well-educated, humane, and civilized.

          It’s not democracy’s fault that there has never been such a population anywhere on Earth (yet).

  • paul ( original )

    Point 2 rather annoyed me. There is no need to say the attack was due to
    negligence. This is a bitter war with a determined and resourceful
    enemy. It is inevitable that sometimes there will be successes. It is
    just simple minded ( the Americans do this all the time) to think
    that only the enemy will suffer and all ‘our’ forces will be
    eternally triumphant and damage free.

    • Ilies Bekhtaoui

      but imagine yourself as a general , getting hit in your main air base could had been catastrophic for both the russian compain and efforts . this could had been way worst if they aimed better and had better equipment . this kind of scurity breaches should be out of the question . russia aim to have a army able to face all of nato so this kind of negligence is unacceptable for the level of reediness they are aiming to . i’m not saying they suck . they are extremlly good . but they must learn . this was a mistake . it must not repeat itself . also the new russian army is nothing like the ussr . they are still trying new thing and there strategies are still not yet battle tested . this also can be a good reason for some of there failures

      • paul ( original )

        Clearly this was a mistake and lessons need be learned. I don’t know all the
        circumstances but negligence implies sloppiness and incompetence.
        What I am saying is that even with the highest levels of preparation
        and vigilance it is not possible to eliminate all risk. A determined
        enemy will find a weakness that you did not see, and exploit it. I
        don’t call this incompetence.

    • Christina

      Goog-l-e is p-a-ying $97 per hour,w-i-th weekly payouts.Y-o-u can a-l-so avail this.
      O-n tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Ra-n-ge Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the m-o-st-comfortable job I have ever done .. It s-o-unds unbeli-e-vable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !gc192d:
      ♥♥♥K♥♥♥M♥♥♥R♥♥♥B♥♥♥N♥♥♥J♥♥♥R♥♥♥L♥♥♥H♥♥♥B♥♥♥I♥♥♥C♥♥♥V♥♥♥N♥♥♥P♥♥♥S♥♥♥W
      >>>> http://GoogleNetJobsAdvisorWorkFromHome/more/cash ♥♥♥K♥♥♥M♥♥♥R♥♥♥B♥♥♥N♥♥♥J♥♥♥R♥♥♥L♥♥♥H♥♥♥B♥♥♥I♥♥♥C♥♥♥V♥♥♥N♥♥♥P♥♥♥S♥♥♥W:::::!gc192lh

    • Agreed – that one kinda stood out as ….. waffle.

  • Tudor Miron

    Now this article is an example of actual true journalism. It states the known facts and while it offers a conclusion (opinion), it does it based on actual factology and helps to connect the dots for some readers. I posted here many times – Russia soveregnity is still far from 100%, 80-90% of media is under control of “ruzionic” elites (same guys that were looting this country in “wild 90-s” under Eltsin’s governing) and there’s a major push (insitgated and kindly financed from abroad) in all sorts of media to discredit current leadership (Putin) before next presidential elections.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      you stop copy western cars!

  • World_Eye

    Have anyone noticed the difference in the first picture the little destroyed wing is same color as whole air craft even from below, like a bluish or the Grey in daylight, but in the second picture and the video too, that same wing is White from below, have you noticed that, so I think that the Jet is repaired on side within day or two.

  • Starlight

    PUURLEEEEASE!!!! Ever hear of PREDICTIVE PROGRAMMING?

    You think it is coincidence that DAYS after this report appeared in an MI6 controlled rag in Russia, there was the most sophisticated mutilple drone attack against a major Russian base ever carried out by ‘rebels’ in Human History.

    The planted news story- fake in almost every detail, was simply designed to get the world to LOOK in the direction of the Russian bases, in readiness for a SUCCESSFUL series of drone strikes. Predictive programming at play (like how the First Spiderman movie trailer had spiderman weave a web between the world trade centre towers just before 911). Of course, the drone strikes FAILED- but MI6 obviously hoped otherwise.

    Learn the rules of psy-ops. Many of the main psy-op methods seem so ‘unlikely’, even people here think their exposure is the rambling of unhinged ‘conspiracy’ nutters. Predictive programming- the GROOMING of a population for new terror methods to come- happens all the time. Jewish Hollywood had fictional films depicted US drone strikes on funerals BEFORE the USA used such methods.

    The Long Kiss Goodnight explained why and how the US military industrial complex would carry out a 911 style false flag BEFORE 911.

    The REAL story is how the West dare use such terror tactics against another Empire Power with no fear of reprisals. The West would not DREAM of ever doing this to China. But servile Putin is weak and hopeless – always supporting the West’s war aggression at the UN. Putin is good for but one thing- preparing Russia to fight WW3 better than anyone else.

    Anyway at first I thought this FAKE NEWS report pure electionering in Russia. But events over the last few days prove the report was really standard predictive programming.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    I think if a mortar team is able to be deployed at 3-4 km of that airbase…it means a security negligence motivate for the special day ( end of the year)…because probably there will be only 1 or 2 zones around the base where terrorist can arrive/flee and launch attack…beside it was during night and termal vision can see them easily….

  • John

    War is not a clean event. I don’t get impressed over a few photos. The US Marines took a butt kicking in Afghanistan at Camp Bastion, with a confirmation of 6 Harriers destroyed, 2 more damaged and a C-130E heavily damaged. Two squadron members were killed, including the CO, with 8 more wounded. There was more stuff damaged and destroyed. But, even that party, they were up and running not long after the 15 Taliban infiltrated a supposedly impregnable base and shut down air operations for a bit. The scale of that attack was nothing like this one, which took place at the Russia air base. So let’s put this event in Syria into proper perspective.

    The important question for me is, was the Syrian government operation against their enemies or the Russia air support of the Syrian government, materially effected? If it was, for how long? If it did not then, it did not make a difference. Apparently, based on gains made by SAA and Co. in the last few weeks, especially within the last week, this did not make a difference at all. It is an interesting occurrence but, it is not something that matters much. Stuff happens in war. I wish well to all.

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    Get USA out of Syria which Russia also knows or else face the Afghanistan music of 1970.Call Niki Harleys UNSC because this is reasonable not time wasting.

  • Solomon Krupacek

    but YOU? RUSSIANS, lied. AGAIN! firstly you told, the chopper crashed due to technical failure. and later came out the truth. therefore are you russians pariahs in our eyes. you lie in clear, pity things. you are this in blood.

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    Throughout this war Russian supported SAA used to be attack by USA or Israel.Russia never does anything without strengthening radars,drones and air defences,with the hope that Trump is on their side.While under heavy sanctions under USA/NATO.

    Currently the same Trump administration has turn directly their attention to the capability of Russian equipment and artillery testing.If USA get surety USA/NATO and Turkey train and armed terrorist will destroy all S-400 and Gets.Because Russia is politely and Trump trust fully avoiding direct confrontation.

    There is no friendship in war time otherwise you will easily be betrayed.WW3 has already started way back and it’s in physiological draining stage driven by USA.USA has put all willing and none willing NATO forces around the world in firing line with or with out their concerned.Putin is risking millions of Russians life if he thing Trump is gonna safe him and put him in good books.

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    Russians have confirmed that their have takes down 13 arms drones above the air base Sky.Prior to this, attack occurred and damaged was be done.This was unexpected and unnoticed and can be severe or less.

    Of caused jets and life we’re lost.Denying is a military strategy until appropriate command is informed.Know it’s up to the Russians to defend or die in USA terrorists hands.

  • paul ( original )

    There is a point about these photographs which I for one have not seen
    mentioned. If they are real then that means there is a spy on the
    base. Taking such photographs would not be easy in a high security
    environment. I think the presence of such a spy is more alarming than
    the damage.

  • Redadmiral

    Looking at the foto of the damaged SU 24 elevator. The tarmac is glossy black from rain. The A/C mechanic/technician looks cold. The damage to the elevator/stabiliser seems more consistent with an impact from a ground support vehicle