Drones Are Dropping Like Flies From the Sky Over Syria
Syria is buzzing with drones. There are days when the people of Idlib governorate can simultaneously see Russian Orlan tactical UAVs, Iranian Ababil, Mohajeer and Shahed-129s and CIA or U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reapers circling the same air space. It’s not much different over southern Syria. There it’s Hezbollah... Read more
Confusion in the Air and on the Ground as U.S. and Syrian Planes Clashed
On June 18, 2017, a U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane over southern Syria. The incident was a direct result of the often-murky relations between the different parties fighting in Syria. From the American standpoint, the crucial reason for an American fighter to open fire at... Read more
A U.S. Navy Fighter Jet Just Shot Down a Syrian Warplane
For nearly three years, Syrian, Russian and U.S. war planes have maintained an uneasy truce over Syria — a truce that progressively frayed early-to-mid 2017. But the main parties had so far refrained from engaging each other in air-to-air combat. That all changed at 6:00 in the evening, local... Read more
Russia’s Military Is Burning Through Its High Explosives
An air campaign requires a sprawling, complicated supply chain. Fire enough missiles and drop enough bombs, which require a heavy investment in materials and chemicals, and there will come a point when the logistics trail starts to strain. Nearly 20 months into Russia’s intervention in Syria’s civil war, the strain is... 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
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

Paul Iddon

Contributing writer

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