One lesson Saudi Arabia took from its 2009 encounter with Houthis in Yemen, raiding its border posts and harassing tribes in that region, was the value of Saudi special forces in those conflicts. Since then it has built up those capabilities as part of its evolving military doctrine, Prince Sultan bin Khaled al Faisal said Thursday. Read More
Russian officials claim that a flotilla of four ships in the Caspian Sea sent a barrage of 26 guided cruise missiles across Iran and Iraq to strike Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Syria — more than 900 miles away.
Those claims were bolstered on Wednesday when Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting ISIS released a video on Twitter showing a guided cruise missile streak by their encampment. Read More
The increased presence of Russian forces in Syria has added another layer of complexity to an already confusing array of warring factions—a good estimate is that 18 to 20 factions now are fighting for one cause or another in Syria. The Russians assuming an active role in the Syrian battle space took the United States by surprise. For many American political, military, and media voices it is evident that Russia’s recent actions stuck a nerve. Read More
While the U.S. government speaks with a unitary voice on policy matters, Iran offers different messages for four distinct audiences—the West, the Islamic world at large, the Shi’ite minority in Islam and to countries in West Africa and Latin America—the author of a new book on Iran’s ambitions said Friday. Read More
The following is a Sept. 18, 2015 Congressional Research Service “CRS Insight” brief to Congress on how Russian troop moves to Syria complicate U.S. policy.
Several Russian warships are bound for the Eastern Mediterranean for high-end exercises, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence. Read More
The extreme radical beliefs and brutal actions that caused al Qaeda in Iraq to fail earlier remain the heart of the success of today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), all because the political context of a decade ago and today have changed, a leading scholar on Islamic terrorism said Monday. Read More
The following is the Congressional Research Service Aug. 7, 2015 report, A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics. The report covers: Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Read More
The following is the July 15, 2015 Congressional Research Service report, Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response. Read More