The Kurds Are All But Defenseless Against Air Attack
In late August 2018 a rumor circulated that U.S. military forces in Syria were acquiring radars for an air-defense system that, according to the Turkish press, help to establish a no-fly zone over the country’s Kurdish-majority northeast. The U.S. government has sought to downplay such speculation, dubbing it “a... Read more
A Russian Fleet Gathers Near Syria
In late August 2018 Russia launched a naval deployment in the western Mediterranean off the Syrian coast. It was Moscow’s biggest such deployment since the end of the Cold War. The naval moves came shortly after the Kremlin claimed the United States and its Western allies were plotting a... Read more
Iran’s Fighters Are Really, Really Old
Two incidents in late August 2018 involving Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-5F Tiger II fighter jets underscored the ongoing crisis in Iran’s air force. On Aug. 21, Iran unveiled what it described as a new, fourth-generation fighter jet. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani even sat in the plane’s cockpit... Read more
Turks Dislike America
In early 2018, the editor of the ultra-nationalist pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak unequivocally called the United States an enemy of Turkey. America, Ibrahim Karagül wrote, is “a serious threat to our country’s existence, its unity, integrity, present and the future. It is carrying out an open attack, and an... Read more
Will the Syrian Kurds Team Up with Bashar Al Assad Against Turkey?
The Syrian Kurds have announced they are willing to work with the Syrian regime against their remaining opponent – the jihadist Haya’t Tahrir Al Sham group, which currently controls the country’s northwestern province of Idlib – in return for Damascus’s help against the Turkish occupiers of the nearby Syrian... Read more
When the Kurdish Peshmerga Fights Like an Army, It Loses
The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Syria has helped to train the Kurdish Peshmerga militia to become better at urban operations and fighting on flat terrain against Islamic State, a clear departure from those old campaigns it waged from the mountains against the Iraqi army. The Peshmerga is closer... Read more
Iran Bombarded Iraq Throughout the 1990s
Following the Persian Gulf War until the year 2001, Iran launched intermittent air and missile strikes against Iraq, targeting both the People’s Mujahedin of Iran militant group — also known as the MEK, which the Saddam Hussein’s regime hosted in the country — and the Iranian Kurdish opposition group... Read more
Fears of an Aggressive Iran Are Far Older Than the Islamic Republic Is
This story originally appeared on May 27, 2015. The U.S. and Iran were once best friends. Washington saw the country as a stabilizing force in the Middle East, an ally it could rely on to keep the peace in a confusing and conflict-prone area of the world. It was... Read more
Lecciones sobre carros de combate aprendidas por Irak durante la Guerra contra el Estado Islámico
Tras su éxito contra el Estado Islámico (ISIS) en el campo de batalla, Irak está estudiando las futuras necesidades de sus fuerzas acorazadas. Bagdad tiene sobre la mesa planes para la adquisición de carros de combate T-90 y al mismo tiempo básicamente está estudiando la viabilidad de modernizar su... Read more
The West Sold Tanks to the Middle East, And Now It’s Frustrated
Ten years ago, the United States approved an arms deal supplying 140 M-1A1 main battle tanks to Iraq. Turkey, another Middle East user of Western armor, relies heavily on German-made Leopard tanks. But in recent weeks, both the United States and Germany have expressed growing wariness over how Iraq... Read more

Paul Iddon

Contributing writer

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