Spotting a Syrian MiG-23 over Jabal Azzawiyah area (Idleb province) is not new. The first appearance of this aircraft was recorded on 10th Aug. 2012 when a BN ground attack variant carried out a bombing sortie over Farkaya town, followed by another one of the same variant on the 24th of the same month. After that, the role of the BN was assigned mainly to the Su-24MK, with numerous records for the MiG-21's & Su-22's.
In September this year, and specifically on the 8th, the first MiG-23MF (fighter/interceptor) variant was spotted in that area. That time the aircraft flew in a straight line, armless and even without pylons.
After that, and starting from November, such type continued flying and conducting ground attack raids over towns and villages in that area. In the date above mentioned, an MF was photographed -above- maneuvering over the area fitted with Kh-23 air-to-surface guided missile under the wing-glove pylons and a Delta NM targetting pod is seen fitted to the air intake pylon.
On 30th Nov., another MiG-23 was photographed, but this time it was the ML, the pure fighter variant!!
It was fitted with B-8 pods launching S-8 unguided rockets over the area.
On 21st this month, an MF flew over Kafrunbel town and attacked a ground target with gun. In this photo above it can be seen climbing with afterburner after the attack.
Two days later, on 23rd, another MF dropped two FAB's somewhere over the area, bringing to our mind that SyAAF is using any air-worthy airframe in its raids against rebels.
This is not a new photo for Syrian MiG-23MF's trio; it was taken in 80s or 90s during the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Rasm Al Abboud airbase showing the Green radome this variant is famous with which means that the aircraft was overhauled and locally upgraded in 'The Factory' in Al Neyrab.