The Hoplite

West African arms trafficker arrested in Ghana

Oscar Nkala Police in the Ghanaian city of Kumasi last month arrested a 72-year-old suspected arms dealer from Burkina Faso and five Ghanaian accomplices in an operation that recovered a sizeable cache of small arms and ammunition. The seizure included 11 AK type and 10 G3 type self-loading rifles; 45 self-loading handguns of undefined make

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Islamic State development & employment of SVBIEDs

Kenton Fulmer The suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) is broadly considered to have served as the makeshift ‘precision guided munition’ (PGM) of Islamist extremists for the last decade, with their frequent and effective use in the tactical operations of the Islamic State (IS) serving to highlight the phenomenon in the media. Due to the decisive

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Small Arms Survey release ‘Research Note 55: Recoilless Weapons’

The Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research institute, has released a new publication authored by ARES Director N.R. Jenzen-Jones, with contributions from ARES staff members Graeme Rice and Michael Smallwood. Research Note 55: Recoilless Weapons examines at the technical features, development history, and global employment of these common light weapon systems. Recoilless weapons utilise the countermass of expelled propellant gasses

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Soviet 3O8 240 mm rocket-assisted cargo projectiles in Syria

Yuri Lyamin and N.R. Jenzen-Jones Update 31 Jan 16: Further examples of O-10 submunitions have been documented in Douma, Syria on 27 January 2016 (see images below). These submunitions bear markings indicating that they were also manufactured in 1989. Additionally, in mid-January further images were posted to social media showing remnants from 3O8 cargo projectiles. Whilst several examples

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Belgian FN Herstal CAL rifle in Gaza

N.R. Jenzen-Jones At far right, the image above appears to show a Belgian FN Herstal CAL (Carabine Automatique Légère; Light Automatic Carbine) rifle in the hands of fighters from the National Resistance Brigades, the paramilitary arm of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The DFLP are an extreme-left member group of the Palestine

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Islamic State unmanned aerial vehicle shot down in Iraq

Larry Friese On 3 October 2015 it was reported that Iraqi Federal Police had shot down a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flown by Islamic State forces, east of Ramadi. They indicated the UAV was being used to monitor and photograph military units deployed in Anbar Province. Photographs of the UAV indicate it was an X-UAV Talon manufactured

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Iranian AM50 anti-materiel rifle documented in Yemen

Michael Smallwood ARES has recently documented Houthi fighters with two models of anti-materiel rifle (AMR) manufactured in Canada and the United States of America, but more recent images posted to social media appear to show a Houthi fighter armed with an Iranian AM50 (Sayyad-2) AMR. Produced by the Iranian state-controlled Defence Industries Organization’s (DIO) Individual

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United Arab Emirates employ British Hakim A series precision guided munitions in Yemen

Recent reports from advocacy organisations have drawn public attention to the presence of UK-manufactured munitions employed by UAE forces during an airstrike in Matnah, south-west of Sana’a City, Yemen, on 23 September 2015. ARES has received permission to post a lightly redacted copy of a Conflict Damage Assessment (CDA) examining this incident, originally produced on behalf of a confidential client. The CDA,

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Islamic State employs improvised explosive devices concealed within toys in Iraq

Kenton Fulmer and Graeme Rice ARES urges those at risk from unexploded munitions to consult with trained individuals before entering contaminated areas. Please see the safety notice below. Children’s toys provide an inconspicuous method for the concealment, transportation, and placement of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Their non-threatening appearance can be utilised by bombers as a method

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North American anti-materiel rifles with Houthi forces in Yemen

Michael Smallwood Multiple videos (shown below) shared by pro-Houthi media channels during October 2015 show Houthi rebel fighters employing Barrett Model 82A1 (M82A1) anti-materiel rifles during fighting in Yemen. The American-made Barrett M82A1 is semi-automatic, chambered for .50 BMG (12.7 x 99 mm), and designated the M107 in US service. The M82A1 weighs 13.6 kg, has an

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