Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Mennegh airbase captured

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans 

Mennegh airbase, also known as Menagh or Minakh was captured on the 5th of August 2013 by the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic State and Syrian Islamic Liberation Front, most notably Liwa al-Fatah and Jaish Muhajereen.

The base had been under siege for over a year. The defenders only holding out due Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) Mi-8/17s resupplying the base by air. The days of the defenders were counted when ATGMs arrived and were used to destroy the tanks inside the base.

Mennegh was home to the 4 Flying Training school operating Mi-8 Hip-Bs and an unknown squadron with Mi-8 Hip Bs. The runway is 4.773 feet long, too short for fighter and cargo planes to take off and land. All the helicopters were already inoperational for a long time. Some survive in a relatively intact condition while others are completely wrecked.

Some of the more lucky Mi-8s:

Some of the unlucky Mi-8s:

The airbase was also full of tanks. Some intact and thus captured, but most fell victim to the ATGMs fired in the past months.

Some of the other spoils of war: