BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:07 A.M.) – Video evidence has been released of light attack aircraft on the tarmac at the Kuweires Military Airport in eastern Aleppo Governonate. The footage was captured by an individual serviceman, appearing to work for no media network and acting off their own initiative.
In quite clear view of the camera can be seen some six to eight L-39 trainer/ light-attack aircraft (representing either a flight-sized formation or a severely-reduced squadron) lined up in pre-deployment formation on the tarmac, one of which appears to be just taxiing-in right at the beginning of the video.
All of the aircraft are armed with rocket pods under their wings which are most likely of the Soviet-built S-5 or S-8 design.
Several of the L-39s, although fully assembled, have a fabric cover sheet over their canopy. This could mean one of two things. First, that the aircraft are not yet in service or, second, that the maintenance crews are simply trying to reduce any heat build up in the cockpit (after all, it is summer in Syria and the aircraft are parked-out in the open).
Given that the aircraft with sheet covers still have rocket pods under their wings, it is likely the case that they are operational and that the maintenance crews are simply shielding the cockpits from exposure to sunlight until the aircraft are ready to be deployed on a sortie.
The L-39 is a subsonic trainer that can also be used as a light attack aircraft. Although the aircraft has no built in cannon, it can carry around 300 kilograms of armament on external hard-points underneath its wings. In the case of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) aircraft shown in the video, rocket pods appear to be the weapon of choice.