New photos taken on the 8th and the 14th of October confirm that the deployment of the Buk battalion is not temporarily, but permanent. The battalion is guarding three of Assad's most important objects. With Mezze probably being Syria's most important (air)base, with the Republican Guard base being home to Assad's most trusted and elite fighting unit and the the Presidential Palace - perhaps the single most important object in Syria from the regime's point of view - is just about 3 kilometers away from Mezze.
Mezze is home to 909 squadron operating Mi-8 Hip Bs, 976 and 977 squadron operating SA-342L Gazelles and an unknown squadron operating Mi-8 Hip Bs and Mi-17 Hip H'. The base also sees regularly deployments of Mi-25 attack helicopters and VIP planes like the Falcon 20. The base is also home to the Tu-143 UAVs and various missile launchers, the latter being used to shell various parts of Damascus.
We can see one Transporter Erector Launcher and Radar (TELAR) 9A317 and one Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) 9A316. Both carrying four missiles in launching position, the latter having four additional missiles stored instead of the 9S36 radar equipped on the 9A317.
|One of the 9A317 Buks based at Mezze showing her 9S36 radar and the deadly armament of four 9M317E missiles. Photo taken on the 14th of October by Darayya Media Center.|
|A 9A316 Buk in one of three open-ending shelters. Note that the Buk is sharing the shelter with one SA-342 helicopter. Photo taken on 8th October by Darayya Media Center.|
|Mezze AFB, the red arrow showing the location of the open-ending shelter housing the 9A316 Buk. The rectangle showing the location of the Buk battalion.|
Mezze and her Buks (1)