Monday, 28 September 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

The arrival of the Su-34 'Fullback' fighter bomber to Syria could be seen as imminent since the initial deployment of the first combat assets to Syria, and has now finally confirmed to have occurred in recent days. Up to six Su-34s are now believed to have joined the four Su-30SMs, twelve Su-24M(2)s and twelve Su-25s already present at Hmeemeem/Bassel al-Assad IAP, Lattakia Governorate.
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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

With Russian military support to the Syrian government having been brought to an entirely new level in the past month and international media focussed on the influx of aircraft and armoured vehicles to Syria, little has yet been uncovered about the extent of new small arms deliveries to the regime. However, the Russian Vesti state-owned news channel aired footage of Syrian soldiers equipped with British-made Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum (AWM) sniper rifles on the 27th of September, revealing a wider procurement policy than previously thought.

Monday, 21 September 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

After the sighting of Su-30MS' and Su-24M2s over Syrian airspace just days ago, new satellite imagery acquired by Stratfor and AllSource Analysis dating from the 20th of September has now revealed the presence of twelve Su-25 'Frogfoots' being assembled at Hmeemeem/Bassel al-Assad IAP for a total of twenty Russian combat aircraft now confirmed to be deployed in Syria. Around the same time, U.S. officials claimed that no less than twenty-eight combat aircraft and up to twenty helicopters have now been stationed in Syria as part of wider Russian deployment of military personnel in Syria.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Amid a range of reports of sightings of Russian military personnel and equipment used in combat in Syria, Russia's role in the conflict escalated sharply with the confirmation of Russian aircraft and armoured vehicles being flown in by the dozens. Coinciding with the renovation of Hmeemeem/Bassel al-Assad IAP for use as a Russian military base, Il-76 strategic airlifters or (more likely) Il-78 aerial refuelling planes have been sighted escorting military aircraft such as the Su-30SM and Su-24M(2) over Syria, together with An-124 strategic airlifters reportedly carrying at least two Mi-17 and two Mi-24/35 helicopters amongst a range of other weaponry.
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By Stijn Mitzer

This list only includes vehicles and equipment in service with the Yemeni Army before the Houthi takeover in Yemen in 2014/2015. Vehicles and equipment acquired and created during the ongoing conflict are not included in this list.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The past few days have seen a steep increase of evidence revealing the true extent of direct military involvement by the Russian military on the ground in Syria. The sighting of recently delivered Russian UAVs and Russian BTR-82A infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in addition to sound fragments confirming Russian military personnel directly participated in one of regime's offensives in the Lattakia Governorate all proved Russia was deeper involved in the Syrian Civil War than many previously thought.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

After having been beleaguered for close to three years, Abu ad-Duhor airbase has finally been captured by rebels, mainly of the al-Nusra Front, on the 9th of September 2015. Battling the longest siege of the Syrian Civil War, the fall of the airbase ultimately proved to be inevitable. Abu ad-Duhor is now the eight airbase to have been lost to the numerous factions opposing the government, and leaves the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) with fifteen operational airbase to conduct sorties from.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The regime's offensive in the Lattakia Governorate continues to reveal previously unknown details about Russia's involvement in the Syrian Civil War. Apart from the sighting of recently delivered Russian BTR-82A infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), new evidence now confirmes Russian military personnel has a key role in leading the offensive on the ground.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Just days after the sighting of several BTR-80 variants among other military equipment bound for Syria onboard the Russian Navy ship Nikolay Filchenkov, an Alligator-class landing ship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, more advanced Russian-made weaponry has apparently found its way to Syria, with the sighting of BTR-82As being the latests in a series of ill-reported weapon deliveries to the war torn country.

Friday, 21 August 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

The vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) has been made famous by the fighters of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq over the past two years. One could even argue the Islamic State perfected the concept by constantly building and deploying better protected and even larger variants on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. From using radio-controlled toy cars to even tanks and self-propelled artillery to carry explosives, the Islamic State has done it all.

Monday, 20 July 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

Recently published images of two drones that fell near the village of Ruveysli near Kasab and Arafit near Jisr al-Shughour in Syria's Lattakia Governorate on the 20th of July 2015 reveal that either Russia has supplied the regime with state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or that Russia has embarked on a small-scale drone surveillance programme over Syria. If the latter turns out to be the case, it could be part of their greater intelligence programme to provide the Syrian regime with up-to-date information on the rebels' status and strength, which first became known to the world after the capture of the Центр С - المركز س - Center S SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) facility near al-Hara, Daraa Governorate.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

Hulayhilah, located in between Tadmur and al-Sukhna, was captured on the 13th of May 2015 by the Islamic State (IS). The industrial town of Hulayhilah served as a support facility for the gasfields and pipelines located throughout Central Syria, and acted as their administrative and industrial heart. After the fall of al-Sukhna in October 2013, Hulayhilah became a stronghold for government forces, which launched a successful counter-attack from here while supported by artillery then recently moved to Hulayhilah.

Monday, 1 June 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

Images from the recently captured Tadmur airbase reveal some of the spoils of war gained by the Islamic State during their spring offensive, which led to the capture of a number of strategically located towns and gasfields in Central Syria. Tadmur (Palmyra) itself was captured on the 20th of May 2015, opening the path for the fighters of the Islamic State to further push into regime-controlled ground, threatening major cities, T4 airbase and the last remaining gas fields under control of the regime.

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, 23 May 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

Al-Sukhna, a small yet vital town in the middle of the vast Syrian desert, was captured by the Islamic State (IS) in a swift, unexpected one-day long offensive on the 13th of May 2015. While the fighters of the Free Syrian Army, Jaish al-Islam, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State (still known as ISIS at the time) had already captured the strategically located village back in October 2013, they never succeeded in holding it for long, and al-Sukhna was back under government-control after just one week.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

The Syrian Civil War has presented itself as a perfect opportunity for nations to test their newest weaponry in an unforgiving combat environment, and this large influence of modern weaponry has seen everything from assault rifles to laser-guided bombs and drones undergoing their combat debut. Nonetheless, it has also seen the return of weapons once presumed to have found their final resting place, but which are now brought out to fight once more.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

In a surprising new streak of offensives launched at targets in both Iraq in Syria, the Islamic State has managed to capture the ancient city of Palmyra, known today as Tadmur. With the strategically important town of al-Sukhna falling just over a week before, and the Iraqi city of Ramadi just days before Tadmur, it appears the Islamic State is far from being under control, and possibly attempting to revive the seemingly unstoppable upmarch of last summer.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

The Saudi-led airstrikes which commenced late on the 25th of March on Yemen reportedly hit a large number of targets throughout the country, yet mainly focussed on the single S-125, three S-75 and two 2K12 SAM sites around the capital of Sana'a. Also hit early on was the airbase of al-Dailami, which shares the runway with the adjacent Sana'a International Airport.

Friday, 30 January 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

Following local experiments with spaced and slat armour on T-72AVs and BMP-2s, the 4th Armoured Division initiated a small-scale upgrade programme for its armour in the summer of 2014. After upgrading several of its T-72M1s and bulldozers with additional armour, the 4th Armoured Division is now also operating at least one ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) upgraded in the same fashion.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

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By Stijn Mitzer

To everyone's surprise, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) has been able to maintain a high pace of operations in the now almost four-year long war. Orginally destined to engage in a fierce but short war with Israel, it never anticipated to fight what is essentially a war of attrition between the regime and its adversaries, and has found its role in the conflict through trial and error. The SyAAF saw a large part of its aircraft and helicopters upgraded in the Ukraine and Russia before and during the Syrian Civil War, and as all aircraft were safely returned, the SyAAF has been able to enjoy a "fresh start".