The Islamic State’s Growth in Libya

The Islamic State (ISIS) has made gains throughout Libya since fall 2014, when local Islamist forces pledged allegiance to the “caliphate.” This map tracks those gains as well as major attacks by the group. View full screen map here.

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Making Sense of Iranian S-300s

Iran has a long history of disrupting maritime traffic in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, but should a recently resurrected deal between Russia and Iran for the S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) bear fruit, Tehran could soon project the same hostility into the skies. Despite assurances from Russia’s Foreign Minister that “[t]he S-300 is exclusively […]

Defeating the Islamic State’s Suicide Drivers

The Pentagon announced last week that it will deliver 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to help Iraqi forces combat the Islamic State (IS), after the jihadist group seized Ramadi, the strategically important Anbar province capital. While not a sophisticated or expensive weapon, the AT-4 could prove a valuable addition to the arsenals of Iraqi ground forces […]

Containment: The Gulf States’ Game Plan for Yemen

The Saudi-led international coalition operating in Yemen announced late last month it had ended the first phase of its nearly month-long campaign in the country. Though the coalition fell short of its stated goal of returning Yemen’s internationally recognized government to power, it insists that in removing the threat of spillover to Yemen’s neighbors, it […]

Nonstop: Tehran to Sana’a

Iran is delivering arms to Yemen using Pouya Air, an airline previously designated by the United States, according to an Israeli media report on Tuesday. The report sheds light on the fact that, despite rigorous export controls on Iran, Tehran duplicitously continues to funnel arms to its allies and proxies in the Middle East. Pouya […]

IDEX 2015: Middle East Arms Market Remains Strong

With the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) and an increasingly aggressive Iran, Gulf Arab states are spending billions to improve their defenses and better protect their energy infrastructure. Nowhere has this been more evident than last month’s International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi. The region’s largest defense exhibition attracted officials from […]

Iran Fires Cruise Missile Through Sanctions Loophole

Iranian defense officials over the weekend announced the successful test-firing of the Soumar, a new and indigenously produced land-attack cruise missile. The unveiling ceremony of this missile, capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads, was intended to be a strong statement by Tehran as negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program come to a head. […]

Washington’s Bad Military Bets in the Middle East

Last month, the Houthis took over Yemen, delivering a blow to Washington’s counterterrorism strategy, which held out Yemen as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise chaotic Middle East. Adding insult to injury, as Washington took steps to shutter its embassy earlier this month, the Houthis took all U.S. embassy vehicles parked at […]

Fueling the Fire in Yemen: Iran’s Role

A mere forty-eight hours after the Houthis stormed the presidential palace in Sana’a last month, virtually the entire Yemeni government offered its resignation. The question of the Houthis’ alleged ties to Iran immediately took on new significance. Indeed, evidence of Tehran’s support for its co-religionist rebels in Yemen is growing. The Houthis are an organic […]

French Deployments in the Middle East and North Africa

France is conducting multiple operations against Islamist militant groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This map displays the largest French deployments underway in the region. View the full map here. Sahel As part of Operation Barkhane, the French have 3,000 troops deployed across the Sahel region. Their mission is assist the countries of Mauritania, Mali, […]