first published on June 28, 2016 by Will
The rebel group Jaish al-Islam released a video showing insurgents engaging a Syrian military helicopter with a captured 9K33 Osa anti-aircraft missile system in rural Damascus. The jihadist group went on to claim that they were successful in taking the aircraft down.
However, Syrian military officials claimed the aircraft was able to avoid the missile with the aid of flare countermeasure devices. Based on the video footage, it looks as if the Syrian military may be telling the truth. If you watch closely, you can see a few “black hot” spots coming off the aircraft just prior to the missile detonation. Additionally, if the insurgent group were to have actually taken down they aircraft, they wouldn’t have cut the video immediately after the explosion. They would have released additional footage showing the wreckage falling to the ground.
Regardless of who was telling the truth, this weapon system is now a new and considerable concern for Syria, Russia, and even the western coalition who are all operating in Syrian airspace. The 9K33 Osa anti-aircraft missile system used in this video was originally captured from a Syrian Army base in 2012, but was thought to be destroyed by a Russian airstrike last year.