Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky, Dan, and COIN
 
Bin atlı o gün dev gibi bir orduyu yendik! - A thousand cavaliers, we beat a giant army that day! (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)

The Bayraktar TB2 has changed the notion of how modern-day conflicts are being fought that, now that it has been tried and tested in at least three separate conflicts, cannot be reverted. The fact that a relatively light and inexpensive drone could not only evade but actively search out and destroy modern surface-to-air missile (SAM) and electronic warfare (EW) systems while suffering little losses in return has rightfully garnered worldwide attention. The result of the TB2's entry into combat was a stunning upset of the status quo, forcing many countries to rethink their approach to defence.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Turkey has made a shift from being partially dependant on donations of military equipment in the 1970s and 1980s to being the party that donates in the 2010s and 2020s, gifting military equipment to allied countries around the globe. Although Turkey began donating military equipment to neighbouring countries as early as the late 1990s, this policy truly set off in the 2010s as Turkey began to increase its worldwide influence. This has not only included the donation of military equipment, with ambulances, buses and other items finding their way to nations across the world as well.

Friday, 29 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
A number of attacks on Turkish patrols in northern Syria have brought Turkey and YPG forces to the brink of war. In response to the latest attack, which saw the death of one Turkish soldier, President Erdogan vowed to clear northern Syria from the YPG. [1] In order to achieve this, YPG (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel – People's Protection Units, itself the primary faction in the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance) forces would either have to leave the border region voluntarily or take up arms and fight the Free Syrian Army and Turkish military. In the latter case, the YPG's armour is undoubtedly set to play a role as the faction's primary fire-support platforms. This article attempts to catalogue the YPG's fleet of AFVs and other heavy weaponry and explain how its armoured force came to be.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Syrian Arab Army's Armoured Divisions are well known for operating several types of tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles upgraded with additional armour. Having performed these armour upgrades on a range of armoured fighting and support vehicles, one of the Armoured Divisions (1st AD) expanded its arsenal once more in 2016 by introducing a new type of multiple rocket launcher (MRL), popularly known as 'Shams', meaning Sun in Arabic. It's thought its nickname was derived from that of the aesthetically similar Russian TOS-1A 'Solntsepyok, which has been referred to as 'Sun' during its deployment by the Russian military in Syria.

Monday, 7 June 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans 
 
Relegated to the annals of history by the most of the world since roughly 1918, the YPG on the other hand remains an active user of so-called Sturmpanzers: uparmoured infantry support platforms that hearken back to their Second World War namesakes. Bulky and monstrous in appearance, these vehicles have begun to symbolise the YPG's resistance against Islamic State and Free Syrian Army forces that sought to dislodge the YPG from the territory it holds in Northern Syria on numerous occasions. While the presence of these DIY monstrosities in the ranks of the YPG is well-acknowledged, little attempts have been made at inventorising the types of Sturmpanzers in servicec. Thus, this article is long overdue.

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.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

A video uploaded by the National Front for Liberation shows off spectacular drone footage as fighters of the National Front for Liberation (NLF) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) fight their way to the regime-held town of Abu Dafna located to the northeast of Maarat al-Numan, Idlib Governorate, on the 19th of January 2020. The attack offers a glimpse into the attacks that government forces have been facing ever since launching the Idlib offensive in April 2019, and clearly shows some of the strengths and weaknesses of the parties involved during the battle. This video doesn't offer the whole story however, and because the early stages of this attack are documented extremely well, we will attempt to break down the footage released and paint a clearer picture of these attacks using Abu Dafna as an example.

Monday, 23 November 2020

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The following photos were taken during a visit of a Russian journalist to a small armour repair facility in the suburbs of Damascus in June 2017. While already several years old with several of the armoured fighting vehicles pictured likely having been lost to combat damage since the images nevertheless provide an interesting insight into the inner workings of a small Syrian tank workshop.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky and Calibre Obscura

Turkish air and ground strikes which commenced late on the 27th of February 2020 on positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SyAA) and affiliated forces hit a large number of targets throughout Idlib and Aleppo, leading to the complete collapse of government forces along this part of the frontline and allowing rebel forces to continue their advance after recapturing the strategic town of Saraqib. Launched in retaliation after the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in an airstrike, Turkey has now entered a new phase in its war in Syria, and at present the long-term implications can only be guessed at.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

After the delivery of T-62Ms, BMP-1s, BMP-2s and at least one 2S9 to the Syrian Arab Army since early 2017, new imagery and combat footage coming out of Syria's Idlib Governorate has now revealed that more variants of these types have been sent to the country onboard Russia's 'Syria Express'.

In accordance with Russia's role in the reinstatement of the Syrian Arab Army, it is also Russia that is responsible for training and equipping the new force. Although this led some to believe that Syria would receive additional T-72Bs, T-90s or even BMP-3s, all of which would be more advanced than the current armour composition of the regime forces, the deliveries until thus far have mostly included older weaponry excess to Russian requirements.

Monday, 16 September 2019

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The YPG is well known for operating a large fleet of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) and other up-armoured battle monstrosities throughout the Northern Syrian theatre of conflict. Having performed these upgrades on a range of armoured fighting and support vehicles in the past years, the YPG has now begun fabricating its own true armour by introducing a new type of armoured personnel carrier (APC), designated the BMB (either you get it, or you don't) in this article.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

With SyrianAir's sole A340 aircraft marking more than two years of successful operations to destinations in North Africa, the Middle East and Russia, photos posted on SyrianAir's website reveal interesting details on the operations of an airline that had nearly succumbed to years of sanctions. After years of scaling back its operations due to a slow degradation process that would see SyrianAir retiring ever more aircraft as spare parts became increasingly difficult to acquire, SyrianAir is now expanding its operations amidst an increasingly stable security situation in all of Syria's major population centres.

Friday, 5 October 2018

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The Syrian Arab Air Force's Hip fleet is perhaps best known for its leading role in the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas across Syria with what have popularly become known as barrel bombs, an act that has defined the usage of aerial assets during the Syrian Civil War. While the role of makeshift bomber currently remains one of the main tasks of Syria's Mi-8/17s, other roles the Hip fleet has carried out during the past six years of brutal war have been largely underreported.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The Boyevaya Razvedyvatelnaya Dozornaya Mashina, literally 'Combat Reconnaissance Patrol Vehicle', better known as BRDM, is an iconic vehicle that has largely been absent from the nearly seven-year long Syrian Civil War. While some analysts following the war continue to expect the BRDM to show up in large numbers at some point in the future, the fate of the vehicle had effectively been sealed after the Syrian Arab Army retired the majority of its BRDM-2s shortly before the start of the Syrian Revolution. Operating vast numbers of armoured fighting vehicles far more suitable for use in the Civil War that followed, only small numbers of BRDM-2s remained in use in recent years, most notably with the Russian Private Military Company 'Wagner' operating throughout Syria.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

As SyrianAir continues its operations out of the war-thorn country of Syria, the airline's venerable Boeing 747SP aircraft have been notable absentees on the few remaining routes and destinations SyrianAir continues to serve. While the airline had originally operated two Boeing 747SPs (a shorter variant of the Boeing 747-100 designed for ultra-long ranges) delivered in 1976, both aircraft were effectively grounded in 2008 as U.S. sanctions prevented the aircraft from receiving their extensive D-checks, forcing SyrianAir to retire the Boeing 747SP after 32 years of service.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

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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, adaption and brutality on the battlefields it engages in across Syria, Iraq and abroad. Exploiting the lack of security after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 and making smart use of the power vacuum in Syria it effectively hijacked the revolution's original goals. The Islamic State would quickly present itself as a threat like no other – not only to Syria and Iraq, but to the entire world.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

SyrianAir can look back on a turbulent six years of operations serving a country thorn apart by Civil War. Heavily impacted by the implementation of sanctions against Syria in 2012, preventing the airline from buying new aircraft and forcing it to cease its flights to countries in the European Union, SyrianAir (officially known as Syrian Airlines) has had to drastically scale back its operations. This marked the start of a slow degradation process that would see SyrianAir retiring ever more aircraft as spare parts became increasingly difficult to acquire.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

After the first delivery of T-62Ms and BMP-1s to the Syrian Arab Army earlier this year, new imagery coming out of Syria has now revealed that more types of armoured fighting vehicles have recently been sent to the country onboard Russia's 'Syria Express'. These new deliveries come as government forces are currently making major gains in Eastern Homs against the fighters of Islamic State, and the new vehicles will likely be deployed here to bring the fight back to the Islamic State once and for all.

Monday, 27 March 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with MENA_Conflict

Just over a year after capturing Deir ez-Zor's Ayyash weapon depot in the largest arms haul of the Syrian Civil War, the Islamic State has once again got its hands on massive quantities of ammunition captured from a storage depot in Deir ez-Zor. This arms haul joins the list of other major instances where vast amounts of weaponry and munitions traded owners such as the capture of the aforementioned Ayyash weapon depot, Regiment 121, Brigade 93 and the Mahin arms depot, all but the last of which were at the hands of the Islamic State. Each of these depots provided its capturers with a wide array of weaponry, vehicles and ammunition that could immediately be used against their former owners, a major blow to other factions fighting for control over Syria.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The rise of the Islamic State from an militant group operating in Iraq to a self-proclaimed caliphate controlling large swaths of land in Iraq, Syria and further abroad has had a significant effect on the course of the Syrian Civil War, effectively hijacking the revolution's original goals and drastically changing the scope of warfare in Syria. At the forefront of this change is the Islamic State's ability to quickly adapt to the various situations that can be encountered on the battlefield, allowing it to become one of the most sophisticated designated terrorist groups to date.