The Hoplite

ISOF Arms & Equipment Part 1 – Personal Equipment

Miles Vining Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Miles Vining as a contributing author on The Hoplite. Miles is a former US Marine Corps infantryman who now researches and writes on small arms and tactical equipment. This is the first part of a series examining the arms and equipment employed by the Iraqi Special Operations

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IS victim-operated IED switch designs in Iraq

Kenton Fulmer Journalists embedded with the Peshmerga continue to gain firsthand experience with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) employed by the Islamic State (IS). ARES received information from an embedded journalist detailing two designs of IED switch that are being encountered frequently by Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces in their continuing effort to counter IS in

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T-55 chassis fitted with S-60 57 mm gun in Iraq

Yuri Lyamin The ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq has given rise to a wide range of different modifications of military equipment, especially the mounting of automatic guns, including heavy machine guns and cannon, on a variety of different chassis. One of the most popular systems this role is the Soviet-era 57 mm anti-aircraft gun

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Canadian NEA PDW-CCS self-loading rifles in service with Peshmerga and ISOF in Iraq

Miles Vining Recent photographs shared via social media have shown members of Kurdish Peshmerga and personal security detachments within the Iraqi Special Operations Force 1 Brigade (ISOF 1) carrying the 7.5″ PDW-CCS self-loading rifle produced by North Eastern Arms (NEA) of Ontario, Canada. The rifles in question are also pictured outfitted with NEA’s “Mini Can”

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Iranian Hoshdar KP signal pistols in Syria

Matthew Sibley Between 16 and 23 August 2016 the People’s Protection Unit (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel‎; YPG) and Syrian government security forces (National Defence Force and Syrian Armed Forces) fought for control of the city of Al-Hasakah in North-east Syria. It ended with a ceasefire, mediated by Russia, and resulted in the Kurdish forces taking control

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Craft-produced suppressed weapons in Donbass

ImproGuns Images shared via social media purport to show new “silent weapons for special forces of the [Donetsk People’s] Republic”. Information accompanying the images claims they are manufactured locally by DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) separatist forces in Donbass. One of the weapons, dubbed ‘Deaf-mute Aunt Tanya from Donbas’, appears to be a modified Russian TT-33 type self-loading pistol which has

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Iraqi PMU unmanned ground vehicle

Martin Kiser An Iranian Irbi News broadcast from 17 August 2016 (27 Mordad 1395) reported on the production of an Iraqi unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) named ‘Al Robot’. The broadcast shows images of the four-wheeled vehicle driving and firing from a static position. The Al Robot UGV was allegedly developed and built by two brothers affiliated

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Romanian Model 1980 AA gun in service with Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous naval forces

N.R. Jenzen-Jones  Images shared on social media show a handful of watercraft associated with the Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous operations, operating out of Misrata, Libya. The force includes at least two tugs, the Assameeda, based out of Misrata, and the Almergheb, based out of Tripoli. These vessels have formerly been associated with the Libyan Coast Guard. The tugs are equipped with a range of weapon

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Research Report No. 6: Spanish C90-CR rocket launchers & Alhambra hand grenades in Yemen

ARES is proud to announce the release of the sixth publication in our Research Report series, entitled “Spanish C90-CR rocket launchers & Alhambra hand grenades in Yemen”. Some excerpts from the report follow: The report examines two products from the Spanish defence firm Instalaza S.A. which have been identified in the hands of Houthi rebel forces

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Soviet 180 mm S-23 artillery guns in Syria

Ilya A. On 5 August 2016, anti-government forces from the Free Syrian Army and the Islamist coalition Jaish al-Fateh stormed and captured a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery school facility during operations aimed at breaking the Syrian regime siege of Eastern Aleppo. The following day, rebel group Ahrar al-Sham posted photos of materiel in the

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