Iran’s Holy City Explodes as Militants Attack the Border
A huge explosion in the holy city of Qom south of Tehran on Sept. 15 killed one person and injured 17. The explosion comes a week after the Iranian internal minister warned of an Islamic State plot to attack Iran—and in the same week as Iran intensifies its intervention... Read more
Iran Just Shot Down Somebody’s Drone
On Aug. 24, the Islamic Republic Guard Corps Air Force announced that it had shot down a stealthy Israeli drone near the Natanz uranium-enrichment complex. The claim coincided with a steady stream of military propaganda flowing from government agencies around the official National Defense Industries Day, so some observers... Read more
Iran Sends Tanks Into Iraq to Fight Islamists
As American jets flew top cover, in mid-August Kurdish Peshmerga militia and Iraqi special forces troops recaptured the strategic Mosul Dam from Islamic State militants. Meanwhile Iraqi Golden Brigade commandos liberated parts of Tikrit from the Islamists. But the militants counterattacked—and that drew Iran into the fighting. In a... Read more
Militants Could Use Artillery and Rockets Against Airliners
In the aftermath of the tragic shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine, the majority of civilian air traffic going from Europe to South and Southeaster Asia has redirected to fly above the troubled Middle East—some of them over Iraq and Syria. Some observers have expressed alarm. Others... Read more
Iraq’s Commandos Fight Back Against Militants
Two months after Islamic State militants swept through northwestern Iraq all the way to the gates of Baghdad, there are signs that the ramshackle Iraqi army finally is finding its resolve. In Tikrit, the birthplace of late dictator Saddam Hussein and now an Islamic State stronghold, Iraqi special forces... Read more
Russia’s Bunker-Smashing Rockets Have Arrived in Iraq
Photos have appears on Iraqi social media depicting Russian-made rocket artillery arriving in Baghdad. The snapshots, published on July 25, show TOS-1A systems unloading from giant An-124 cargo planes. The rockets could help Baghdad battle Islamic militants. TOS-1 was the Soviet army’s secret hammer during the last decade of... Read more
The Palestinian Plan—Overwhelm Israeli Defenses
On July 7, Palestinian militia group Islamic Jihad launched some 35 small rockets nearly simultaneously at southern Israel—the latest escalation of this summer’s tit-for-tat violence. The Iron Dome missile battery near Ashkelon could intercept only three of the rockets. Twenty of the projectiles hit populated areas, injuring one person... Read more
Iran’s Flying Tanks in Iraq
Three gray shadows in an echelon formation passed over an airport in the middle of an arid desert. One by one, the shapes banked left and turned to land on the runway. They were three Su-25 attack jets belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, the IRGC-AF.... Read more
Iran’s Agony in Syria
Recent attacks and counter-attacks in the long-running Syrian civil war have claimed the lives of several top fighters and commanders on the side of the government regime—at least two of them Iranians. And the death of one Iranian officer in particular has resulted in a major intelligence coup for... Read more
The Syrian and Iranian Air Forces Are Now Bombing  Iraq
On the morning of June 24, unidentified jet fighters bombed a market in the Islamist-held city of Al Qa’im in northwestern Iraq. The city, which recently fell to militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is near the Syrian border, so we’re assuming the bombers were Syrian—an... Read more
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