Sunday, 26 June 2016

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By Stijn Mitzer

The regime's recent offensive against the Islamic State aimed at clearing large parts of desert in Syria's Raqqa Governorate of Islamic State presence took a drastic turn when a counter-attack spread chaos and fear among the forces spearheading the offensive. Completely misjudging the impending danger and incapable of properly anticipating the Islamic State's counter-attack, the offensive collapsed and instead of capturing large swaths of territory, the remaining government forces were forced on the defensive, eventually being beaten all the way back to their starting point. The outcome of the offensive came as a surprise to many, not in the least because its exact goals remained unclear for some.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

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By Stijn Mitzer

The Sudanese Air Force has had a turbulent history ever since its founding in January 1956, the year that the Sudan gained independence from the British. Originally trained and equipped by Egyptians and the British, it acquired aircraft and helicopters from the Soviet Union in the late 1960s, followed by Chinese examples several years later. The Sudanese Air Force (SuAF) then sought to purchase aircraft from France, but ended up acquiring U.S. F-5s and C-130s. In the late 1980s it began receiving military aid in the form of aircraft and helicopters from Libya, followed by the delivery of more Chinese aircraft shortly after, which would continue to deliver aircraft in the last two decades. In more recent years the SuAF's core is made up by aircraft acquired from Belarus, Russia and unsurprisingly, China. This is not all however, as the SuAF also operates or used to operate aircraft sourced from a variety of countries such as Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada.