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Showing posts from November 28, 2016

STRONGHOLD AL-BAB: WHOEVER CONTROLS NORTHERN SYRIA INFLUENCES THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST

The city of Al-Bab is located in the northern part of the Aleppo Province (about 36km northeast of Aleppo, about 26km south of border with Turkey), and remains under ISIS control. Its strategic importance increased after Kurdish and SDF forces took Manbij which had served as an important ISIS logistical node for 2.5 years, helping transfer jihadists from Turkey to Syria and back, and also facilitating oil and arms shipments. The Arabic name of the city translates as “the gate” which is entirely reflected by its current importance.


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The Parties’ Interests

The Kurds want to take Al-Bab to reassemble the fragmented Shahba canton (with a administrative center of Tal Rifaat and Manbij), consolidate the areas they control, and proclaim a Syrian Kurdistan as an independent country or a broad autonomy nominally within the SAR. Turkey is implementing Operation Euphrates Shield, with Turkish Army regular units and the so-called FSA ( Ahrar al-Sham, Sultan Murad Divis…

IRAQ RECEIVES A BATCH OF BMP-1 FROM BULGARIA

The Iraqi military has received 10 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles from Bulgaria, according to Iraqi media outlets. The Soviet-made IFVs will serve as yet another tool in the fight against terrorist in the war-torn country. The deal hasn’t officially been reveled as there’s no information in the Bulgarian media, nor any official statements from the Bulgarian government. However, pictures and videos of the vehicles have been posted at the Iraqi news outlets. It’s a public secret that Bulgaria has been one of the top players on the black market for arms in the Middle East, selling all kinds of small weapons, tanks, IFVs and other equipment to both the Syrian and Iraqi governments but also to all the various types of rebel groups and terrorists. The country has had one of the biggest arms reserves left from the Cold War. Earlier this year, reports suggested that Bulgaria had delivered T-72 battle tanks to Iraq.