The real threat of a-symmetric conflict with ISIS

The real threat of a-symmetric conflict with ISIS

״ In consequence, there were good seeds from good plants, and bad seeds from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth’s darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken. A baobab is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late.

It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and the baobabs are too many, they split it in pieces . . .״

-Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince

The most relevant question associated with a country’s terror threats is how to overcome such a threat on the home front. The West, with United States in the lead, is reluctant to initiate a direct military confrontation with the Islamic state organization. The strategy employed by the Islamic state creates a threat to the western world, which leads to hesitation and avoidance of potential conflict. If the west decides to act, the right actions to be taken remain a debate. After all, what can be done with ideas of young Western fanatics affected by Muslim ‘romantic’ ideas of Jihad.

Modern warfare is characterized by a-symmetric conflicts, in which one party is significantly more powerful than the other. Such conflict is exemplified in the relationship between the United States (as well as other western countries) and ISIS. The effectiveness of a-symmetric conflicts can be measured by the hesitation of Western countries to enter into a military confrontation with terrorist groups like ISIS. Western countries have learned that an a-symmetric conflict illustrates the strengths of the weaker organization as well as the weaknesses of the stronger military. Against these organizations, Western military cannot use wide force in the traditional ways. The attempt to protect conventional laws of war, while these terror organizations do not hesitate to use population as human shields, weakens the strength of Western military. In addition, fighting prolonged battles encompasses numerous disadvantages to the country involved. Such detriments include extensive loss of life as well as the economic price paid during such conflicts.

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The West has two approaches of fighting a-symmetric conflicts. The first approach is the enemy oriented approach, proposing that fighting against these groups should be managed the same way as fighting other conventional armies. Even though this approach is effective at times, it poses a problem in the case of ISIS. Even if the Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by the United States will defeat this terror organization on the ground, their radical ideology will remain alive. This method would treat the symptoms but not the idea.

The second approach involves direct access to the hearts and minds of populations threatened by such organizations. This approach focuses on mobilizing the civilian population against these organizations, which could actually prevent the source of its support. This approach is not appropriate in case of the Islamic state because the organization is not fighting in favor of an occupied population (like the Hammas in the middle east are for example), but they are fighting to occupy a sovereign territory in order to bring about religious order. All ideology opponents are considered infidels and are to be executed.

The tactics the United States employs in dealing with ISIS are based on harming the organization’s core, which is achieved by killing its senior figures. These tactics are beneficial for damaging the organization’s infrastructure since senior roles in the organization are of particular expertise and such eliminations could harm key organizational structure. The United States, which led nine years of continuous warfare in Iraq, and is still fighting in Afghanistan, made ​​it clear that it will not send ground forces to combat areas and will fill the role of an “air support” for the Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers who fight against ISIS. In theory, this tactic takes the United States out of direct confrontation, but at the same time it makes it extremely difficult to bring about any achievements.

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The real threat of ISIS comes from European and American citizens, who travel through Turkey in order to join the organization. Sometimes these travelers are not even Muslims by birth, making them even more committed to radical ideology. This can be attributed to freedom of religion and expression in the West as well as the romantic portrayal of Islam. Such representation dates back 1,300 years when Mohammed led the Islamic Revolution under the black flag to the east. In addition, these immigrants witness weak Arabic countries led by leaders who are not as devout to Islam as they are, be “torn apart” by their close association to the West. Articles written in the late 50’s by Hassan Al-Banna (the father of the Muslim Brotherhood organization) inspire such opposition, claiming having close ties to the west provides Western countries with more authority.

After the Soviets retreated from Afghanistan, al-Qaeda announced victory over the atheist’s communists and started to act in small groups all over the world. They believed that in order to spread global jihad they must hurt the West, especially the United States. Such ideology led to the plan and execution of the September 11 terror attack. ISIS however, is a mass organization that understands that controlling sovereign territory gives legitimacy. ISIS may be considered a national separatists movement, they are confined to a specific territory in order to establish an Islamic state under the laws of Sharia. This confinement to specific territory makes ISIS more static and defensive, allowing them to be a target. Even though this works in favor of their enemies, the United States still confronts the risk of terrorist attacks on her soil.

The West must rethink fighting in a-symmetric conflicts. History has proven that local populations that are threatened by these organizations have a better chance at victory. This is true since these populations fight passionately against their oppressors, disregarding the cost that comes with war. If these local populations are trained well, they have a chance at defeating an organization like ISIS, which is successful at fighting against detached bases and villages but may not be as successful when the enemy is a large well-trained force. Even though the American government’s decision to train the Syrian rebels could be an appropriate solution to the ongoing conflict, recent event have proven that the United States has failed in building the Iraqi army over time.

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In summary, the real threat comes not from the organization, but from the change in combat action. Just as al-Qaeda transformed after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and transitioned to terrorist activity overseas, ISIS may evolve and expand its threat to areas outside of its now confined territory. If the organization will be defeated militarily, the fighting volunteers from Western countries could return to their home countries and act as initiators of radical ideology. Security mechanisms need to be developed as a method to suppress “ideas” and prevent attacks from home.

Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, not the first split in Al-Qaeda

Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, not the first split in Al-Qaeda

Introduction

During my Middle East BA studies I came across the book “join the Caravan53551.jpg” by Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azam, Book call the Islamic youth to go to war in Afghanistan and fight against the Soviet regime. The book reminded me that Jabhat al-Nusra split from Al-Qaeda happened in the past, the figures were much closer than Abu Mohammad al-Julani and Ayman al-Zawahiri. A similar process happened in Afghanistan between Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azam and Osama bin Laden.

Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azam

Abdullah Yusuf Azam a.k.a. “Father of Global Jihad” was a Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar and theologian and founding member of al-Qaeda. He raised funds, recruited and organized the international Islamic volunteer effort of Afghan Arabs through the 1980s, and emphasized the political aspects of Islam.

Relationship with bin Laden

Azzam was a teacher and mentor of Osama bin Laden and persuaded bin Laden to come to Afghanistan and help the jihad. After Osama bin Laden graduated from the University of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in 1981; Azzam convinced bin Laden to come to Afghanistan and help personally finance the training of recruits. In 1981 bin Laden arrived in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan, and settled there permanently in 1986. He helped the Afghan forces fighting against the Soviet Union and its adherents mainly by raising funds for the rehabilitation of refugees, and the construction of roads and shelters rebels. It is known that in 1987 he participated in the “Jeji” Battle.

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Turning Point

Abdullah Yusuf Azam wanted liberate Palestine and establishment of Caliphate there, on the other hand bin Laden strive to establish the Caliphate in Saudi-Arabia.

The Battle of “Jaji” occurred in April 1987, during the first stage of withdrawal of Soviet forces from their war in Afghanistan. Remaining Soviet troops supported the Soviet-backed government’s operations in Paktia Province against the Mujahedeen, hoping to relieve a besieged garrison at Ali Sher, and cut off supply lines to the Mujahideen from Pakistan. In the end, the Mujahideen successfully held their complex system of tunnels and caves named “al-Masada” just outside the village of Jaji, near the Pakistani border, from Soviet capture. As a result of the battle bin Laden was treated as a victorious military leader and attracted a number of followers to his cause. From that moment bin Laden criticizes the actions of the Sheikh frequent and more aggressive until the cooperation between them ceased completely.

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*It is important to note that I don’t believe bin Laden was involved in the assassination of Abdullah Azam.

After the Soviet retreat bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia and fought against the Saudi monarchy and against American involvement in Saudi Arabia. After the Gulf War, bin Laden was expelled from Saudi Arabia and fled to Sudan.

A restriction to our time

Abu Mohammad al-Julani is the emir of the Syrian militant group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, announced on 28 July 2016,  that Jabhat al-Nusra has split from al-Qaeda.

Hypotheses

It is important to remember that in 1996 when bin Laden returned to Afghanistan from Sudan there still continued struggles for power in country. Then fighting was concentrated against the Taliban, which was established to promote the interests of Pakistan in Afghanistan, And when Jalalabad fell in the hands of the Taliban Bin Laden decided to join the organization.

Interesting to see if again al-Julani will take an example from Bin Laden, if so we may see a merger between Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and another dominant militant group in Syria.

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Chechnya 1994-Russia’s first experience in war against militants

Chechnya 1994-Russia’s first experience in war against militants

Introduction:

First confrontation between Muslim independence ambitions and conservation of territorial continuity by ruling state occurred during the period of the 90s in Russia. Russian Federation was the first state encountered in a “clash of civilizations”.

In this article I will analyze the start of the war between Russia and Chechnya in 1994.

Background:

In December 1994 Russian troops entered Chechnya in order to prevent the separation of Chechnya province from Russia and to fight the Islamists who ruled it.

The armed forces:

Ickeriya.jpgArmed units of Chechen Republic of “Ichkeria”:

Approximately 10,000 troops defended Grozny city. Not including Militants and Arab clans who were under self-command.

42 T-62 and T-72 Tanks; 34 BMP-1 and -2; 30 BTR-70 and BRDM-2; 44 MT-LB, 942 cars. 18 MLRS “Grad” systems. 139 artillery systems, including 30 122 mm howitzer, 2S1 self-propelled guns and 24 thousand shells for them; 2S3 self-propelled guns and anti-tank guns MT-12. 5 SAM, 88 MANPADS. 590 units of anti-tank weapons, including two anti-tank systems “Contest”, 24 anti-tank complex “Fagot”, 51 anti-tank complex “Matis”, 113 RPG-7 complexes.

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Russian attack forces were a bit beyond 15,000 Russian soldiers, 200 Tanks, 500 BTR/BMP & 200 artillery pieces. It is estimated that Russian operation would take no more than a few days.

“We will take Grozny with only two airborne regiments”-Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, (before the introduction of troops in Chechnya).

*According to the theory of military education, attacking forces must be ahead of the 7 to 1 in number (Russian forces needed amount of 50 thousand troops at least).

Defense Preparations:

Visible military knowledge among the Chechen forces in design of the defense of Grozny, the defenders split their forces into 3 security straps, turned the basements to weapon warehouses and Command centers which were connected by underground passages. It is important to note that “Sunja” River divides the city into two parts making it a natural barrier. The main streets were mined. The Chechens were divided into squads of 3 soldiers only, which were divided into sniper, gunner and a soldier who was armed with RPG. Squad’s main task was to make momentary contact and disappear. Fighting deliberately designed to be dense to prevent cover of the Russian Air Force. In addition, The Chechens destroyed all the tables with the names of the streets in order to create confusion among the Russian soldiers. Also Russian troops didn’t have topographic maps of the city.

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Grozny Assault:

When Russian forces began to move into Grozny the Chechens didn’t open fire, they allowed to the Russian forces enter between two strips of defense. Chechen captured the Russian convoys and disconnect them from reinforcement. Reinforcement convoys encountered strong resistance (During the first attack wave Russian troops have lost 20 tanks, 112 BMP’s & 6 AA systems).

An aerial view of Russian armor casualties

Psychological warfare, was a big part of the battle, Chechens were equipped with advanced communications devices and disrupted the communications between Russian forces and talked to them Non-stop in order to affect there morals. The city was covered with signs and inscriptions in Russian, “Welcome to hell” to effect the troops psychologically.

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“Russians, surrender. you surrounded by mines, Resistance is pointless!”

b8454d2bd6e01daca1f530c2f8b3c96f.jpg“It is better to have terrible nightmare than a never-ending nightmare”

Fighting was so crowded so that Russian air cover was paralyzed and sometimes Russian artillery performed friendly fire. Buildings were changing hands several times a day. At night the fighting were become heavier. In the morning fighting was weakened and immediately after the morning prayers the “meat grinder” renewed.

The turning point came when Russian forces have changed their tactics in the city Instead of sending convoys of armored, Russian forces copied the Chechen method and formed squads of 3 soldiers only. When Russian forces have already begun to move forward to the city center the Chechen found it difficult to hold the assault force but, still fought for every floor in the buildings. Russian forces progress stopped by of talks about a ceasefire. Militants took advantage of the situation and brought new forces into the city.

When the ceasefire ended the battles become more intensive. With Russian forces advanced into the city they faced the even toughest resistance. Surrounded militants, not surrendered but, tried to break out.

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Only on 19 January 1995, Russian forces managed to take control of the city center but, the fighting in the city lasted until 26 February 1995.

Russian forces after the occupation of the city center

Loses:

Russian federation: killed – 1,426 people; wounded – 4 630 people; prisoners – 96 people; missing – about 500 people. All Russian soldiers who were taken prisoner badly abused. Later many committed suicide or hospitalized in a mental hospitals.

Military equipment losses: Destroyed – 225 units (including 62 tank); damaged (repairable) – over 450 units

Chechen armed groups lost: Killed – 6900 people; the number of injured is unknown. Prisoners – 471 people.

Military equipment losses: Tanks – 78 units (64 destroyed and 14 captured), BMP – 132 units (71 destroyed and 61 capturedcaptured). guns and mortars – 253 units destroyed, almost all MLRS BM-21 “Grad”.

Civilians Casualties: There is no exact number but, estimated around 27,000.

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Russian army forces invaded Grozny in 1994 but, after two years of intense fighting, the Russian troops eventually withdrew from Chechnya. Chechnya preserved its de facto independence until the second war broke out in 1999. In 1999, the Russian government forces again invaded Chechnya.

instead of Epilogue..

The shadow war between Israel and Hezbollah

The shadow war between Israel and Hezbollah

This is not the first time that foreign reports attribute to Israel attacks on Hezbollah forces in Syria, Including Attack on convoys and elimination of senior Hezbollah members.

hezbollah_flag.jpgHezbollah (Arabic for “Party of Allah”) is a Shiite group that was founded in 1982 after Israel’s intervention during the Lebanese civil war. Closely aligned with the Iranian theocracy and functioning as a “state within a state” in Leabanon. Hezbollah has infantry force numbers about 10,000 full-time fighters and some other reserves. Hezbollah fighters armed with Kalashnikovs, machine guns, grenades and all standard equipment it needs warrior infantry.

Which units are under the Israeli intelligence radar?

Transport units-Because of the difficulty and risk, these units are considered as Special Forces.

The 108 missile Smuggling unit. 108 unit’s mission is to deliver weapons from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah logistics bases located along the border of Syria and Lebanon. 108 Unit was involved in transferring the Fateh-110 missiles to Lebanon. In Lebanon the Weapons transferred by unit 112, this unit transporting weapons to Hezbollah bases inside Lebanon. It does it with convoys of trucks with fake license plates. Unit 110, responsible for leading Hezbollah fighters and Iranian advisors from the countries involved. According to various estimates Hezbollah smuggled 40,000 missiles into Lebanon since 2006.

469303pic_C (1).jpg         Haji Hassan Mansour, Hezbollah 112 unit commander killed in Lebanon.

Elite units

This units trained in Iran and specialize in close fighting combat and use of special measures. In addition Hezbollah has “1800” unit that responsible for recruiting agents and quality attacks against Israel. This unit also operates outside Lebanon. Hezbollah have three main intelligence systems that include preventive intelligence and unit for collecting intelligence.

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Air-Force/Drone forces

According to foreign reports it estimated that the organization has a number of individual drones designed to collect some intelligence, Hezbollah has drones that able to return to Lebanon after performing a task. This is a unit develops in recent years and receives the best equipment that Iran can provide with vocational training as well.

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Custom action units

Hezbollah has a special unit for each type of action, such as firing anti-tank missiles, Mortars, explosives etc… Past events indicate that if necessary several units can to carry out joint action. Rockets units are divided into two divisions, “Nasr” short-term and the other “strategic” operating long-range rockets.

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Nature reserves and well-hidden bunkers

As part of learning the lessons of the Second Lebanon War Hezbollah has strengthened and improved the Nature reserves. Within these reserves could be found rocket launchers and infantry fighters that able to fight independently for days without supplies. The organization Equip stored quantities of water, food, ammunition and command and control posts.

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“Red Lines” and “Tie-breakers”

Hezbollah maintained to get the weapon and improve his capabilities, long-range or more accurate missiles. Israel defines those weapons as “Tie-breakers”, In other words, measures that could hurt Israeli Air Force, Navy and strategic installations and cities deep inside Israel territory. The main source of weapons is Iran, although there is security agencies estimate that some weapons also comes from North Korea, which recently revealed that she is involved in the fighting in Syria. According to foreign reports, Israel launched six attacks on Syria and Lebanon to prevent those weapons to get into the hands of Hezbollah organization.

Action against Hezbollah members is also part of Red lines maintenance that requires consistent “brain war” which takes place between Israel and the organization. The hidden war level has its own rules; a Specific attack on Hezbollah in Syria shows to the organization that Israel still watching and won’t allow Planning and operations against it. The wisdom of both sides is not get into the slippery slope. It is necessary to use proportional firepower during attack and during the reaction. During retaliatory actions carried out by Hezbollah against Israel, Hezbollah considering and selecting a retaliatory action which won’t break the balance of the fire on the Lebanese border. Both sides are not interested in escalation.

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Gaza and “Tie break” weapons

While Israel follows the events in Syria, Hamas apparently got those weapons from ISIS extension in Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Video released by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas organization, it possible to identify 9K32 Strela-2 MANPAD and 9M133 Kornet ATGM.

 

 

 

 

 

The battle at Wadi as-Sulouqi South Lebanon. Summer 2006

The battle at Wadi as-Sulouqi South Lebanon. Summer 2006

The battle in Wadi Sulouqi will be remembered as one of the toughest battles of the war in Lebanon during summer 2006 between the IDF and Hezbollah.

Location: Wadi as-Sulouqi originates in the area of Bint Jubeil and runs north several kilometers west of the Israel-Lebanon border.

IDF purpose was to cross the Sulouqi River and deploy additional forces to the Litani River area from which Hezbollah had fired most of its Katyusha rockets on Israel. Crossing the Sulouqi meant the troops and tanks had to climb a steep hill while exposed to attack from the mountains on every side. In favor of covering the crossing forces, Nahal Brigade were flown by helicopter especially to the Sulouqi area for secure mission of 24 “Merkava-4” column tanks, from the 401st Brigade which advanced westward from the area of Tayyiba.

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Nahal Brigade 931st and 932st Battalions were supposed to capture Ghandouriye and Farun villages, its’ strategic locations above the valley gave the villages control by fire and observation over Wadi Sulouqi. Hezbollah realized that the only way to the Litani River is through Wadi Sulouqi (Both the Israeli invasions in 1978 and 1982 passed through this area). Hezbollah deployed at least 100 fighters and prepared an ambush from hidden positions on the hilltops with their most advanced anti-tank missile the Russian-made ATGM 9M133 “Kornet”.

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On August 12, at 8 p.m. the tank convoy began to move. At that time Nahal Brigade still fought at Ghandouriye and Farun village’s outskirts. The central IDF command didn’t inform Nahal forces that the convoy started to move and left it without cover.

Some of the Merkava-4 tanks were severely damaged by fire of Hezbollah anti-tank missiles. The wounded fighters were rescued by 401st Reconnaissance Unit and combat engineering battalion.

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In order to draw Hezbollah fire from Wadi Sulouqi, IDF Reservists Paratrooper “Black Eagle” Battalion was ordered to capture Al-Qusayr village. In 4 hours the village was captured and the Sulouqi River crossing was finally completed.

Summary,

Seven IDF Soldiers killed and dozens wounded among the infantry, armor and combat engineering. Eleven of the tanks were hit and several went up in flames. Eighty Hezbollah fighters were killed and several were captured in Khanduriyah, Farun and Al-Qusayr villages. Lebanese sources claimed that only nine Hezbollah fighters were killed during the battles and only one wounded fighter was taken prisoner by Israeli soldiers.

The battle was a microcosm which contained all IDF mistakes during the 2006 war in one battle.

  1. -The central command didn’t inform Nahal forces that the armored convoy started to move.
  2. -Nahal forces didn’t know that their main task is to secure the movement of armored forces.
  3. -The command to cross was given through a satellite phone and most of the troops used Radio Controls.
  4. -The tanks convoy made critical mistake when moved in a different direction than the IDF expected, Additionally The passage is small and doesn’t allow the armoured force to manoeuvre in case of attack.
  5. -Crossing task could be canceled; at that point the UN Council conducted intensive efforts to end the fighting. Basically there was no need to move troops toward the Litani River.
  6. Intelligence service failed to inform the military command about Hezbollah procession of the ATGM 9M133 “Kornet”.
  7. -Equally important, infantry suffered from lack of updated maps, low supplies and old equipment.
  8. Photos by IDF from Ghandouriye, Farun and Al-Qusayr villages, South Lebanon. Summer 2006.

Which forces IRGC deployed in Syria?

Which forces IRGC deployed in Syria?

The partial withdrawal of the Russian Air Force from Syria created a lack of firepower in fighting against militants. To deal with the shortage, Iran announced that Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution will send a limited operational force to Syria. Brig. Gen. Ali Arasteh Noted especially Brigade 65: “Brigade 65 is a part of our army’s ground force and we are dispatching soldiers from Brigade 65, as well as other units, as advisers to Syria. This dispatch is not limited to commandos of Brigade 65, as advisers of Brigade 65 are already there.”

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It is important to note, it was the first time that Official Iranian authorities publicly spoke about Iran’s military operations against the Islamic-State and other militants in Syria.

Who is 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade?

Its original core was formed in the 1950s, when the army sent 10 senior officers to France for parachuting training. The “Green Berets” 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade was established in 1959 and was part of 23rd Commando Division. It glory the brigade gained during Iraq-Iran war participating in major operations such as Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas and Operation Karbala-5, and had activities in strategic mountains of Dopaza and Laklak in Sardasht, and in western regions in general. Some units of the brigade were present in Siege of Abadan. Also Brigade 65 participated in various clashes in provinces of Khuzestan, Sistan-o-Baluchestan (fighting drug trafficking and terrorism), and Kordestan.

NOHED_emblem.svg.pngTheBrigade specialized in hostage rescue missions, irregular warfare, psychological warfare and support and may perform tactical missions abroad. One of its training camps is located in jungles of Kelardasht, in which jungle warfare is trained during spring. The winter training camp is in Emamzadeh Hashem, in which there is a ski resort dedicated to the brigade, used for training snow warfare. The summer camp is located at Karaj Dam. Another camp is located in the desert of Qom, in which desert warfare is trained.

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Syrian-government sources reported that the brigade deployed alongside Lebanese and Iraqi Hezbollah during fighting against Jabhat al-Nusra in Al-Eis. Iranian classifications put the size of brigades at about 6,000 to 7,000 troops. Thus, it is probable that about 100 to 200 Brigade 65 commandos have been deployed to Syria. During the fighting in south Aleppo the brigade lost number of its soldiers.

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Evidence of involvement of additional Iranian units Stems from casualties from other units like, the 45th and 258th Special Forces, 33th Airborne Special Forces Brigade “Al-Mahdi”-fighters from this unit were killed mostly in Al-Zabadani area near Qalamoun Mountains during summer 2015, Fatemiyoun Brigade (Afghan Hezbollah), Liwa Zainebiyoun Brigade (Pakistan Hezbollah) and 338th Mechanized Infantry Division. There are also noticeable losses among IRGC high officer ranks.

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Casualties from “Al-Mahdi” 33th Airborne Special Forces Brigade during Battle of Zabadani, Summer 2015.

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Morteza Zarharan from 258 Airborne Special Forces Brigade, Killed in South Aleppo, Syria

Casualties from 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade, Killed in South Aleppo, Syria.

Colonel Mashalloah Shamesh, Brig. General Hasanali Shamsabadi and Colonel Ali Taheri killed, Killed in South Aleppo, Syria.

-Interestingly to note two groups of IRGC “Foreign fighters” which are fighting in Syria,

684.jpg-Liwa Zainebiyoun (People of Zainab Brigade) is a contingent of Pakistani Shi’a fighters in Syria, officially fighting to defend the Sayyida Zainab shrine in Damascus claiming that it draws on Afghan Shi’a based in Pakistan. Due to the relatively small size there is not much information about the unit. The unit casualties in syria is the only record of their existence as a military force.

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-Fatemiyoun Brigade also known as the Fatemiyoun Division, and is an Afghanistani Shia militia formed in 2014 to fight for in Syria. The Division primarily recruits from the approximately 3 million Afghan refugees in Iran many are illiterate. This unit also fought in the liberation Palmyra and has the heaviest amount of losses

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Persian writing in Palmyra area :”Herat boys of Fatemiun were here. Ya Zeynab”

 

NATO continues to increase its forces in Eastern Europe what puts the West and Russia in arms race

NATO continues to increase its forces in Eastern Europe what puts the West and Russia in arms race

Some background, NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance based on agreement which was signed on 4 April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. Its main purpose was to defend each other from the possibility of communist Soviet Union taking control of their nation. The Alliance includes, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. The optimal plan of NATO for expansion is from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

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It is important to note, there is a parallel Russian organization, CSTO-Collective Security Treaty Organization is an is an intergovernmental military alliance that was signed on 15 May 1992. The CSTO Including Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

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As part of the Germany ruination in 1989 The Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its forces And NATO promise not to expand the organization. Non-compliance of NATO commitments is the root cause to tension in Eastern Europe today.

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Instead of limiting the expansion of the organization and enter into a dialogue with Russia relating to limit arms amounts, Brussels rapidly continues to increase the number of it troops in the Baltic States on the border areas with Russia (The amount forces has increased by 4 times). Also NATO is planning to create a “four fleet” which will be positioned in the Black Sea and until 2017 sand more 150 armored units and 4000 soldiers.

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But not soldiers or armor amounts will determine the results of armed conflict between Russia and United States but their nuclear arsenal, ability of it transfer and missile defense systems. The Pentagon continues to increase its missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. Transfer the center of confrontation between Russia and the West to Europe is an American interest.

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USA State Department spokesman John Kirby said: “The air defense system in Europe … is defensive in nature and it’s not aimed at Russia, not targeted at Russia. You can’t target a defensive system at anybody. And as for the systems and the initiatives that the Pentagon spoke to in that hearing, I would point you to them.” Then he added: “we are developing and implementing a strategy to address Russian military actions that includes modifying and expanding air defense systems to deny Russia offensive capabilities.”

Washington is using the alleged Russian violations of the INF treaty as a pretext to launch the new Pentagon’s “defense” strategy. The INF was a 1987 agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union aimed at eliminating nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges between 500–5,500km. The treaty did not cover sea launched missiles.

My conclusion within the alliance, the cultural differences among NATO countries can challenge The principle of “one for all and all for one”. Joint harnesses against a third party will be a test case and may leave the United-States alone in open confrontation with Russia.

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