After four years of keeping to the sidelines, Israel's position is becoming more precarious, particularly as it relates to the Druze community, a threatened people inside Syria and a vocal one across Israel's northern border on the Golan Heights.
If the framework for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran's nuclear program is successfully carried forward it will be a major achievement but also a great risk for the region and the entire world, as Iran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles capable of carrying WMDs throughout the Middle East. Moreover, Iran’s progress on space launch vehicles provides Tehran with the means and motivation to develop longer-range missiles, potentially deterring the USA and its allies
Kurganets-25 represents two members of a new family of medium armored vehicles designed to replace the BMP-2 and MT-LB platforms in mechanized formations of the Russian Army. As their predecessors, the new vehicles have amphibious (swimming) capability, enabling uninterrupted mobility across rivers. The Kurganets is manufactured by Kurganmashzavod, the plant that produced the previous generations of BMP-1, BMP-2 and BMP-3 vehicles.
Despite the Kurdish cheer, senior US State Department official told Reuters the setback for Islamic State in Kobani did not mean "anyone is declaring mission accomplished or this is a significant turning point."
As the Western US lead coalition allies are dragging their feet trying to curb ISIS operations in the Middle East, it seems that the coveted "boots on the ground" could eventually come from the east - where China faces a growing ISIS-inspired subversive activity in the strategic Xinjiang province.
As the Islamic State continues its armed campaign in Iraq and Syria, its ideology is drawing fans and fighters from as far as Southern Asia and China. While the attack in Australia drew the world attention to the threat from 'lone wolf' attacks by ISIS volunteers returning home, elsewhere in Asia insurgency is more organized - four new terrorist organizations are already aiming to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the Far East region called Daulah Islamiah Nusantara that is to comprise Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, southern Thailand and southern Philippines.
Libya and its ongoing battle between Islamists and non-Islamist forces presents a nearby breeding ground for ISIS. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is facing one of his biggest foreign policy problems with the Libyan civil war.
The Iranian air defense command has introduced a third generation evolution of the Hawk missile, locally designated ‘Shalamcheh’, operated along with new radar and ELINT systems. The Iranian Army has also tested its new Mohajer type drones during the recent exercises.
Raytheon Company has received a $2.4 billion Foreign Military Sales contract for fire units of the Patriot Air & Missile Defense System for the State of Qatar. The acquisition is part of an Armed Services modernization and recapitalization effort announced by Qatar in March of this year. The US part - including the Boeing Apache helicopters, Patriot and Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin missile were valued at $11 billion dollars.
With the situation in Iraq and Syria changed, energy become key to the improving relationship between Ankara and the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. Working together, they could also halt, or even defeat their common enemy - ISIS - from becoming a regional power.
in order to fight ISIS effectively the Iraqi kurd Peshmerga militia urgently needs modern weapons, which only the Americans can deliver. Others may help, but may not be enough to maintain a long term war fighting, which looks inevitable as western nations hesitate to get actively involved in this strange but highly dangerous conflict.
With as many as 30 million people spread across the Middle East, the Kurds claim to be the world’s largest ethnic group without a country. The recent incursion of the Islamic State in Iraq and el-Sham (ISIS - aka Da'ish) now presents the Kurds with both an opportunity but also great risk. The Kurds as a nationality have now re-appeared on the world stage. If anything good should come out of the present Islamic turmoil in Iraq and Syria, it could perhaps improve the traditionally suspicious ties between Turkey and the region’s Kurds.
As it seems, Egypt is already involved in a “full-fledged war” against Islamist groups. President al-Sisi enhanced his anti-terrorism narrative to enforce brutal crackdowns on the Muslim Brotherhood opposition. The Egyptian government actually declared the group a terrorist organization earlier this year -- but Egypt is still facing an escalation of extremist activity.
In this first part in a series outlining the violently evolving middle east, this essay written by Defense-Analyst David Eshel covers the evolution of Da'ish (aka ISIS, ISIL) from the collapse of Iraq, by operation 'Iraqi Freedom' and the chaos triggered by President Obama's Middle East 'Arab Spring' campaign of 2009.