(Translation by Yusra Ahmed)
Abo Nidal, former officer in Syrian Air forces, said Syrian regime has used all sort of military airplanes it owns, except Meg 29, because this kind of planes is only used for air battles.
The defected colonel said all the airplanes seized or destroyed by rebels, do not form more than 10% of the air-force of the regime, as it has almost 500 military airplanes and 150 helicopter.
The Aeromechanics mentioned that Sukhoi 24 is the most destructive airplane, as its capacity reaches to 8 tons of bombs and it is used recently to destroy Aleppo. Its cost is high because it needs for 9000 liter of fuel for 40 minutes air strike. Sukhoi 22 follows the first one in capacity and destruction, as it can be loaded up to 4 tons of bombs.
Syrian regime has 29 airports, and the most powerful one is alsin Airport, and Domair airport, both of them situated to the East of Damascus. T4 and Shoairat airports, to the East of Homs come next in importance and strength, according to Abo Nidal .
He explained that the power of an airport is evaluated according to its area and the number of airplanes it hosts and the visibility, because of that Alsin airport is the most powerful airport as it hosts 76 military airplanes and 18 helicopters which are used in throwing barrels bombs over populated areas in Aleppo and other cities. Besides that it has two runways of more than 3 kilometer length.
In regard to T4 airport, which comes second in importance, the defected Colonel said that it is the widest airport and it hosts about 10 Sukhoi-24 and 23 Sukhoi-22. Besides that it has big fuel stores.
Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011, Syrian regime's first step was securing its airports by tanks and soldiers from the republican Guards.
The Colonel advised that best way to disable the power of the airports is to cut fuel supply, although it is difficult task, but still the easiest way to put the airports and regime’s air-forces out of service.
In regard to deep loyalty of the pilots to regime, the defected Colonel explained that most pilots (80%) of them are from Alawite sect. He mentioned that they demanded their commanders to allow them to hit the demonstrations from the beginning of the Syrian revolution, therefore, the colonel realized that bombing and targeting civilians is inevitable, that pushed him to defect to protect himself from being a partner in killing Syrians.
Zaman Al Wasl