Iranian-backed Houthis Fire a Shot at the U.S. Navy

While the United States was fixated on the second presidential debate on Sunday night, one of its ships was under fire in the Middle East. Details remain few, but reports suggest that the Houthis, a Yemeni militant group backed by Iran, fired two anti-ship missiles at the USS Mason as it patrolled the Bab el-Mandeb […]

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Discerning Iran’s Role in Expanding Houthi Rocket Capabilities

Yemen’s Houthi rebels tested a new rocket last Thursday, marking the fourth new projectile they unveiled this year. Dubbed the Somoud, or “steadfastness,” the projectile’s launch was broadcast late last week across Arab and Iranian media. While observers were quick to point fingers at Tehran, based on its established track record of arming the Houthis, […]

Assessing the Latest Iranian Ballistic Missile: The Zulfiqar

Iran’s Armed Forces on Thursday concluded their celebration of “Sacred Defense Week” – the annual commemoration of the first week of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. The week featured military parades showcasing the latest in domestically produced weapons, chief among them ballistic missiles – of which Iran has the Middle East’s largest arsenal. This year, Tehran’s […]

Understanding Iran’s Deployment of the S-300 System

Iranian outlets this week reportedly revealed that components of Iran’s first Russian-made S-300 missile system were positioned around the Fordow fuel enrichment plant – an underground bunker which, until recently, was used for uranium enrichment. The long-range surface-to-air (SAM) system represents Iran’s newest and most advanced air-defense platform. Its deployment to Fordow sheds light on […]

Covering the Bases: Reassessing U.S. Military Deployments in Turkey After the July 2016 Coup d’État

Download the full report here (PDF). The Republic of Turkey has been a reliable staging point for U.S. forces for more than six decades. Turkish bases have historically provided the U.S. military easy access to multiple theaters without having to build new infrastructure or forge new agreements. Today, American forces in Turkey are targeting the […]

Hezbollah’s Strategy in Syria Won’t Help Against Israel

Over the last three years of the Syrian Civil War, Hezbollah has increasingly operated as a regular army rather than in its traditional, decades-long role as a guerrilla force. The Shiite group has operated Syrian tanks and artillery, jeeps with recoilless rifles, and is even rumored to have acquired its own 75-tank armored brigade. As […]

Reconsidering Safe Zones in Syria

The situation in Syria remains bleak, with no end in sight to its five-year civil war. President Bashar Assad’s forces and their Russian and Iranian backers continue to lay waste to rebel-held territory, leaving the rebels with shrinking leverage to pressure the regime into a lasting political settlement. Meanwhile, the Islamic State (ISIS) holds key […]

Crowded Skies Over Syria Raise Risk of Unintended Clashes

Russian forces in Syria have fired upon Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft on at least two different occasions, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported last week. Officials in Moscow unsurprisingly dismissed the report, but the possibility of Russian-Israeli clashes over Syria is actually more plausible than it may seem. The skies above Syria are crowded, […]