Terror and Murder — Islamic State Switches to an Insurgency in Iraq
Iraq’s military has essentially destroyed the physical Islamic “State” which once militarily occupied one-third of the country. The effort to root out the Islamic State insurgency could take years. Iraq is now faced with the difficult task of implementing effective counter-insurgency methods as the group reverts to its origins... Read more
Syria’s Kurds Have Plenty of Territory — If They Can Keep It
In the war with Islamic State, Syria’s Kurdish forces successfully fought back and extended their territories, most notably by capturing the strategic city of Raqqa and large swathes of Deir ez-Zor province. These territories, which encompass almost all of Syria’s oil reserves, provide the Kurds with valuable bargaining chips... Read more
No, Iranian Submarines Don’t Pose a Major Threat in the Mediterranean
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again slammed Iran’s presence in Syria, this time claiming that Tehran has a plan to base aircraft in the country, dock its submarines on Syria’s Mediterranean coast and directly threaten Israeli waters. “They want to bring their air force there, right next... Read more
No, the Israeli Air Force Won’t Race to Iraqi Kurdistan’s Rescue
Here in Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region, a friend recently overheard some of his countrymen discussing the prospect of an independent Iraqi Kurdistan coming under attack from Baghdad or its neighbors. They dismissed this prospect out of hand, very matter-of-factly, by insisting that the Israeli Air Force would come to... Read more
America’s Kurdish Allies Are Surrounded … By U.S.-Equipped Armies
Neither Iraq, Iran nor Turkey are happy that Iraqi’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region went ahead with its referendum on independence last month. They responded by threatening economic sanctions, along with other punitive measures, and flexing their military muscles by conducting exercises on Iraqi Kurdistan’s doorstep. These exercises serve as a... Read more
The U.S. Military Now Has a Permanent Base in Israel
On Sept. 18, 2017, the United States established its first permanent manned military base in Israel at Mashabim Air Base in the Negev Desert. Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovich, the head of the Israeli Air Force’s Aerial Defense Command, hailed the event as “nothing short of historic,” adding that it demonstrates... Read more
Iraqi Kurds Stockpiled Captured Islamic State Explosives
In August 2017, two explosions rocked Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Bomb attacks in the Kurdish capital are a rarity. In both these instances officials in the region assured the city’s residents that the explosions resulted from unstable weaponry the Kurdish Peshmerga had captured from Islamic... Read more
An Independent Kurdistan Would Begin With a Clash
Iraqi Kurdistan’s upcoming independence referendum on Sept. 25, 2017 will determine, among other things, the borders of an emerging Kurdish state in that region. With this determination would likely come border conflicts for an independent state squeezed between several volatile flashpoints. Presently, the borders of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region are... Read more
Why in the World Does Turkey Want an Aircraft Carrier?
Upon overseeing the launch of a domestically-built corvette in July 2017, Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced his country’s goal of building “our own aircraft carriers” as part of Ankara’s efforts to “become independent in the field of defense by 2023.” “We must move even faster,” Erdogan declared. “We... Read more
After Bailing Out Assad, the Russian Military Risks a Syria Quagmire
It has been well over one year, seven months since Russia’s military intervened in Syria’s civil war. From the get-go the Kremlin brushed aside claims that its campaign would lead to an Iraq or Afghanistan-like quagmire. Relying heavily on air power, Russia helped the Syrian regime to rebound from a... Read more

Paul Iddon

Contributing writer