BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:05 P.M.) – A cargo plane of the Aerospace Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (initially mistaken for a Russian aircraft, explanation note in bold below) has been spotted on camera dropping supplies to two predominately Shi’ite towns in Idlib province that have long-since been besieged by sectarian armed rebel groups.
On Monday, a Iranian An-74 transport plane air dropped several packages of supplies to civilians and pro-government fighters in the besieged towns of Fouaa and Kafraya.
Opposition sources stated that the aircraft was a Russian An-72, this is incorrect.
Iran makes a considerable effort to deliver aid to the two towns which are located in the heart of rebel-held northwest Syria to the north of Idlib city (a key militant stronghold) by a matter of just several kilometers.
Fouaa and Kafraya were fully encircled by sectarian militant groups in March 2015 and have remained so ever since.
To date, the several thousand Syrian troops and pro-government fighters defending the towns have repelled multiple assault by jihadist militias which – by their own account – are fixated on exterminating the local population.
NOTE: Despite the claims of opposition sources, it appears the aircraft was an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps air force An-74-200 (Reference code 15-2253) and not a Russian Aerospace Forces An-72 (Reference code RF-72949) as initially reported by Al-Masdar News.