Tuesday, 18 May 2021

,

By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
On the 6th of May 2021, protests erupted in Jerusalem over a decision to evict Palestinian residents in favour of Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood of East Jerusalem that under international law is a part of Palestine. Israeli authorities violently cracked down on the protests, injuring scores of Palestinians and bringing both camps closer to the brink of armed confrontation. As protests continued with many more wounded, Hamas issued an ultimatum under which Israel was required to pull back its forces from Jerusalem's religiously sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque by the 10th of May. Following Israel's failure to adhere to the ultimatum, Hamas then commenced rocket fire at Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip, which has been the scene of many comparable clashes in the past decades.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

,


By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans 
 
The turn of the 21st century marked the start of a period of decay for Ukraine's military, with masses of military hardware facing early retirement while replacements for its surviving inventory were nowhere in sight. The 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia and the war in Donbas brought about a dramatatic reversal of this policy, and factory yards previously filled with surplus tanks began to be emptied to reinforce the ranks of the battered Ukrainian military. This has so far resulted in the reactivation of hundreds of T-64, T-72 and T-80 main battle tanks (MBTs) and BMP infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

,

 
By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
For everyone that ever landed at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport while sitting on the right hand side of the plane, the aircraft featured in header image should be an all too familar sight. Three blue and white Airbus A300s standing in a remote corner of the airport, seemingly waiting for their inevitable scrapping in the near future. Ever since landing at Atatürk Airport for the first time, I've taken an interest in the three aircraft. Why were they parked there? How long did they operate in this livery before eventually being retired?

Monday, 10 May 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Ever since the takeover of Crimea by Russia and the outbreak of armed conflict in the Donbas region, Ukraine has launched an ambitious re-equipment programme to make up for the decades of neglect of its armed forces. In addition to pulling older equipment out of storage to overhaul and upgrade them, it has also begun to introduce entirely novel capabilities to its armed forces. Notable examples include the indigenous Neptune anti-ship missile (AShM) the Hrim-2 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) and the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial combat vehicle (UCAV).

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Saudi Arabia is well known for operating some of the most advanced military equipment currently on offer, including the M1A2S main battle tank (MBT) and the F-15SA multirole strike fighter acquired from the U.S. But as with many a military worldwide, aging and sometimes unexpected armament operates in the second line of defence and on fronts deemed less volatile. For the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this not only includes an assortment of older equipment such as the M60 Patton MBT and the M113 APC, but also a number of peculiar-looking BTR-3 APCs acquired from Ukraine for use as emergency rescue vehicles.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

,

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

,


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 113 PKK fighters along with the destruction of several cave systems and the capture of enemy weaponry. [1]