In 1998, Turkey and Syria Narrowly Avoided War
Sick and tired of Syria sheltering its arch-enemy the Kurdistan Workers Party, more commonly known by its acronym PKK, in 1998 Turkey threatened to invade. In the end, diplomacy prevented a potentially bloody war. On Oct. 4, 1998, a top Turkish commander declared that the two countries were in... Read more
Turkey’s Drones Target Kurdish Militants
Turkey in recent years has gone from being a buyer of drones to a producer of them. It has built and fielded a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, including armed ones, in combat. As invariably is the case is with any new Turkish military equipment, Ankara’s drones flew their... 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
Turkish Helicopter Gunships Are Heading to Pakistan
Pakistan has been hunting for new attack helicopters to replace its aging American-made AH-1 Cobras. Now Turkey’s ruling party has confirmed that Islamabad has picked the T129 ATAK in what is the largest Turkish-Pakistani arms deal in history for 30 of the sleek, two-seat gunships. It’s also a loss... Read more
Three Armies Still Upgrading Their Cold War-Vintage M-60 Tanks
The M-60 “Patton” tank is one of the most iconic tanks of the Cold War. While it did not see use in the Vietnam War, it saw extensive use by Israel and Iran in the various hot wars of the 20th century, and comprised the vast bulk of the... 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
Turkey’s Offensive Into Afrin Is Slow and Bloody
On Jan. 20, the Turkish military launched Operation Olive Branch — the ongoing invasion of the northwestern Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin Canton. From the onset, Turkey claimed that the operation would result in a swift victory. However, a month later, Olive Branch is showing clear signs of becoming... Read more
Germany’s Leopard 2 Tank Was Considered One of the Best — Until It Went to Syria
Germany’s Leopard 2 main battle tank has a reputation as one of the finest in the world, competing for that distinction with proven designs such as the American M-1 Abrams and the British Challenger 2. However, that reputation for nigh-invincibility has faced setbacks on Syrian battlefields, and placed Berlin... Read more
Turkey Attacks the Kurds’ Efrin Enclave
Following days of verbal warnings from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and intensive diplomatic activity between Ankara, Washington, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus, on Jan. 19 2018 the Turkish military launched Operation Olive Branch — a military offensive in the so-called “Efrin enclave,” part of northwest Syria controlled by the... Read more
These Are the Flashpoints That Could Spark War in 2018
The world has managed to make it through most of 2017 without the return of cataclysmic, great power conflict. In some parts of the world — most notably Syria — tensions have declined significantly. In others, already difficult situations have grown even more tense. Here are five crises that could lead... Read more
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