Russia Has Sent One of Its A-50U Radar Planes to Syria
On April 29, 2017, a photograph appeared on social media apparently showing a Beriev A-50 SRDLO — that’s the Russian acronym for “airborne early warning and control system” — in flight over Syria. Israeli satellite photographs confirmed the presence of a single A-50 on the apron of Hmemmem air... Read more
What Would Happen if Turkey Attacked U.S. Troops in Syria?
When Turkish warplanes bombed fighters from the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, in northeast Syria on the morning of April 25, embedded U.S. special forces were “uncomfortably close” to the targeted area, according to a YPG source cited by Al-Monitor. Specifically, U.S. troops were only a few miles away. “There was... Read more
Trump’s Syria Strike Fell Short
Is Hillary Clinton right? On May 2, 2017, she said she supported Pres. Donald Trump’s cruise missile attack on Syria, but with a caveat: “I am not convinced that it really made much of a difference.” Almost one month after the April 7 strike, the expert consensus seems to... Read more
Countering Russian Mendacity on Syria
The views presented below are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Defense or its components. Discussing Russian mendacity is like arguing that water is wet. Regardless, an understanding of the Kremlin’s claims regarding the war in Syria is necessary... Read more
Who Will Control Raqqa After Islamic State?
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed coalition of Arab and Kurdish paramilitary fighters, are tightening the siege on Raqqa, Islamic State’s main city in Syria. The city is isolated and SDF forces are also on the offensive against the Islamic State in the nearby town of Tabqa—where U.S. helicopters... Read more
Iraq and Syria Team Up to Take on Islamic State
Syrian warplanes carried out a series of strikes on Islamic State targets in Raqqa and along the Syrian-Iraqi frontier earlier in April 2017. Intelligence gathering from a Russian-Iranian-Iraqi and Syrian coalition enabled the aircraft to locate their targets. Formed in September 2015, this coalition has command centers in both... Read more
The U.S. Military Expands Its Network of Syrian Airfields
A recent article in the Russian state-owned Sputnik Turkey outlet speculated that the airfield the United States built from scratch in the Syrian-Kurdish Kobani region could become a substitute for Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base. The assertion is likely correct—but only to an extent. The United States has never been able to... Read more
Flights From Syrian Base Fell Sharply After U.S. Strike
Ever since U.S. President Donald Trump ordered two Navy warships to launch 59 BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat Air Base in Syria in the pre-dawn hours of April 7, 2017, there is no end to the controversy over the background and outcome of the operation. Misinformation abounds, for... Read more
How F-22 Raptors Match Up to Russian Air Defenses in Syria
The United States is reportedly patrolling the skies above Syria using stealthy F-22 Raptors. The supersonically cruising air superiority jets are the only fighters in the U.S. inventory that can safely fly within the engagement envelope of Russian S-400 and S300V4 surface-to-air missiles defense while the Pentagon ascertains how the... Read more
Trump’s Cruise Missile Strike Could Be a Sign of Weakness
The Trump administration’s bombing of Syria’s Shayrat airbase with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, in response to a Syrian chemical attack less than 72 hours before, is comparable to the Clinton administration’s heavy reliance on such weapons. Clinton used the Tomahawks, along with air strikes, to reprimand Saddam for his... Read more

Paul Iddon

Contributing writer

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