I am currently traveling on business, but have excerpted some comments from the US Department of State’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, on the current status of US policy towards Iran. There were several interesting sections, but the discussion of US outreach targeting Iranian citizens I found particularly interesting.

Recently, both sides involved in the fighting in Syria have accused the other of chemical weapons (CW) use. Remnants of similar items were found in two alleged chemical attacks in Saraqeb, Idlib and Sheikh Maqsoud, Aleppo. Eliot Higgins has gone into a little more detail on the items in question. Whilst the munitions can not be conclusively […]

Following are two more safety sheets I produced for the RRMA, as part of a package provided to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to support their ongoing efforts in Syria. The content of these  is drawn largely from previous posts here. There are one-sheets for the ZAB-2.5 incendiary and Sakr Type B submunitions, as well […]

This screenshot, a frame taken from the YouTube video seen below, shows a fighter of the Mouvement pour le Tawhîd et du Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO) in Mali holding a 9K32 or 9K32M Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS). From the blurry video it is difficult to determine whether this is a 9K32 (NATO reproting […]

It’s that time of year again! Twitter Fight Club kicks off for 2013 and, as with last year’s tournament, I will be one of several judges trying to decipher and adjudicate the coming virtual fracas. For the uninitiated, all the information you need can be found here. My judging criteria will be the same as I used […]

Anza Mk-II Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) have been observed in Libya. A source working with an NGO in Libya, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent me the images featured in this piece. These images were taken in 2011 at arms depots wrested from government control by rebel forces. The Anza Mk-II, developed at the […]

By N.R. Jenzen-Jones Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment troops, possibly based out of Honington or Wittering, have been deployed to Bamako as a force protection (FP) element for RAF operations in support of the French intervention in Mali. France’s Opération Serval is being supported by two RAF C-17ER transport planes, operated by No. 99 Squadron from RAF Brize Norton. […]

Recently, Sakr 122mm cargo rockets and their submunitions have been observed within Syria. This family of 122mm rockets is designed for use with the Russian BM-21 multiple rocket launcher (the so-called ‘Grad’, or ‘hail’) and other 122mm systems such as the Chinese Type 81 SPRL and Egyptian RL-21 and RC-21 launch vehicles. These surface-to-surface multiple […]

This piece is adapted from an article appearing in Volume 5, Number 1 of the Small Arms Defence Journal. In September 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Lithgow (New South Wales, Australia) at the invitation of Thales Australia in order to conduct a Test and Evaluation (T&E) of their Enhanced F88 Assault Rifle. This […]

A 9M79-1 missile being fired in Kazakhstan during exercise Combat Commonwealth 2011. Credit: Grigoriy Bedenko. The 9K79 Tochka (Точка; ‘point’) tactical ballistic missile launcher has been identified in a recent video from Syria, seen below. Whilst the YouTube video misidentifies the system as a ‘Scud’, it is almost certainly a 9K79, also referred to as […]