Russian Mi-24 helicopters support Syrian Army troops with extreme low altitude attacks and maneuvers during operations in Hama province of northwestern Syria.
The Mi-24 “Hind” is a flying fortress. It is heavily armored, packed with munitions, and able to transport troops to and from the battlefield. The pilots fly low to minimize exposure to anti-aircraft guns and continuously pop flares in anticipation for the stingers that will most likely begin mysteriously appearing in the rebel arsenal sooner than later.
The Russian social media and propaganda game is strong, and they have many media-consuming Westerners believing that they are striking at ISIS targets in Syria. However, Russia is primarily targeting Western-backed forces who are fighting against the Islamic State as well as Assad, and due to Russian airstrikes on “moderate” Free Syrian Army targets, ISIS has been able to make a comeback and gain large swaths of Syrian ground.
It only makes sense that Russia is targeting the Free Syrian Army groups, as they are being armed by the West and pose the greatest threat to his puppet, Assad. However, to buy into the buzz that Putin is selflessly ridding the world of terrorists or doing anything other than serving his own personal interests would be a misguided, misunderstanding of the situation.