Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts

Friday, 19 November 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Much has been written and discussed about the quality of Chinese-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). While some argue that Chinese drones have proven cost-effective alternatives to American UAVs, others have pointed out the drones' high crash rates and reliability issues when compared to their Israeli, U.S. and Turkish counterparts. Despite these issues, Chinese UAVs remain highly popular on the market today. This is likely not the least due to the fact that there are few strings attached to Chinese arms sales, enabling countries like the United Arab Emirates to deploy its Chinese-made UCAVs over areas where it wouldn't be allowed to operate its U.S.-produced drones.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
A video released on the 9th of September 2021 shows an Iranian loitering munition impacting a target near Choman, Erbil Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan, as part of an ongoing offensive by Iran in the region. The military offensive comes two days after Mohammad Pakpour, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Ground Forces, warned the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) against allowing groups hostile to Iran to use its territory to carry out attacks against Iran. [1] General Pakpour also threatened to attack the bases of these groups and advised civilians to stay away from their bases. Iran almost immediately made good on the threat, using artillery and loitering munitions to target these same bases just two days later. [2]

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The profileration of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) has accelerated since the turn of the century, with many countries either already possessing armed drones or currently looking to acquire them. Much less common however is the acquisition of UCAVs by a non-state actor. Intriguingly, this is exactly what has happened in Iraq, where the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) have managed to acquire several Mohajer-6s UCAVs from Iran. Their public appearance in Iraq came several months before the delivery of Mohajer-6s to Ethiopia, which is a story we broke in early August.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Some 8 years years after its official retreat from Turkey, the PKK continues to wage guerrilla warfare and conduct infiltrations into Turkey from their mountainous fortresses in Northern Iraq. Dead set on eliminating this threat, the Turkish Armed Forces frequently launch offensives into PKK-controlled areas to neutralise hideouts and weapons caches. In an effort to counter these heliborne incursions and the threat of attack helicopters, the PKK uses a variety of locally improved heavy machine guns and cannons to target helicopters and the personnel disembarking from them.

Friday, 30 April 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with COIN_V2 
 
In a renewed effort to flush out PKK fighters from their mountain hideouts close to the border with Turkey in Northern Iraq, the Turkish Armed Forces launched Operation Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt on Friday the 23rd of April 2021 with the ultimate goal of clearing three designated areas of the presence of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Conducted under difficult operational conditions in mountainous terrain riddled with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the operations have so far resulted in the reported deaths of 116 PKK fighters along with the destruction of several cave systems and the capture of enemy weaponry. [1]

Thursday, 8 April 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Starting in June 2014, Coalition airstrikes conducted on positions, vehicles and high-ranking members of the Islamic State have taken a heavy toll on the group. These airstrikes combined with increased bombardements conducted by the Russian Air Force (RuAF) ultimately proved to be decisive in determining the outcome of many of the offensives conducted by and against the Islamic State. The Battle for Kobanî, where Coalition airpower played a decisive role in the defence of the city, first made painfully clear the vulnerability of Islamic State forces to aircraft armed with precision-guided munitions.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

There it was, what looked to be a tram or an armoured battle wagon parked under a tree in the town of Bawiza, North of Mosul in November 2016. Abandoned by its previous owners, this behemoth previously made an appearance in the now infamous Islamic State offensive near Naweran, North of Mosul, a video which went viral due to the rather comical performance of several fighters involved in the offensive. While Abu Hajaar became the inspiration of memes across all corners of the internet, the Islamic State's usage of up-armoured trucks and other vehicles involved in this offensive was of particular interest for others.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The war against Islamic State in Iraq has seen a myriad of DIY designs come to life as factions attempted to improve their firepower to gain the advantage over the enemy. The Islamic State (IS) is certainly no exception, and its forces in Iraq relied virtually exclusively on the ingenuity of their many arms workshops to turn the huge arsenals captured in Mosul into deadly weapons for use on the ever changing battlegrounds of Iraq.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The Islamic State's rise to the status of one of the most sophisticated designated terrorist groups ever to exist has been accompanied by an unprecedented level of ingenuity, especially considering the fact that most of their sites and weaponry were quickly targeted by Air Forces operating over the conflicted battlespaces of Syria and Iraq. In an attempt to address this threat the Islamic State resorted to desperate measures such as using conventional artillery as makeshift anti-aircraft guns, relying on the remote chance of achieving a direct hit on enemy aircraft flying high in the sky to bring them down.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The battle for Mosul has entered its seventh month of fierce fighting for the largest city in the hands of the Islamic State, with the most difficult fight for Mosul's Old City still to be fought. Facing a much stronger opponent with a large number of armoured fighting vehicles, special forces and air support, the Islamic State employs tactics that have become so characteristic for this organisation in its fight against Iraqi forces, including the large-scale use of VBIEDs in the narrow streets of the city.

Monday, 9 May 2016

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Just six days after the release of the now infamous footage showing fighters of the Islamic State fighting, failing and getting killed while storming Peshmerga positions North of Mosul, the Islamic State made another attempt at taking Peshmerga positions on the 3rd of May 2016 near the Assyrian town of Tesqopa (or Telskuf, Tel Eskof, Tel Asqof or Tel Asqaf in Arabic). The result of this attack received worldwide attention as the resulting battle saw the death of a U.S. serviceman stationed there as part of Navy SEAL unit sent to protect this part of Iraq from further Islamic State attacks.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

A video obtained by Jake Hanrahan and uploaded by VICE News on the 27th of April 2016 shows off spectacular footage taken by the headcam of an Islamic State fighter as he and his comrades fight their way to Peshmerga positions near Naweran while under heavy enemy fire. The attack, which took place North of Mosul, clearly shows the panic and chaos that occur while on the battlefield, a completely different picture from the one presented in the propaganda videos published by the Islamic State's media department, which almost exclusively shows well-trained and motivated fighters of the Islamic State defeating their opponents without any fear or regard to their own safety.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer


Iraq's war on the Islamic State has seen a myriad of both light and heavy weaponry from all sources around the world in use with the numerous groups pitting it out against the Islamic State in Iraq. From Iranian tanks and multiple rocket launchers to World War II-era howitzers, the war in Iraq has so far provided it all.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

This list only includes captured vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. Therefore, the amount of equipment captured and destroyed by the Islamic State is undoubtedly higher than recorded here. Civilian vehicles such as Toyota Hilux pickup trucks are not included in this list.