Tag: IS

British HSR Cyclone anti-materiel rifles in Iraq

Miles Vining The Iraqi Emergency Response Brigade (ERB) is a component of the Ministry of the Interior, specifically structured as a counter-terrorism force responding to attacks within the borders of Iraq. Since 2016, however,  ERB forces have been serving in an offensive capacity alongside Iraqi Special Operations Forces, particularly during the ongoing battle for Mosul. As

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ISOF Arms & Equipment Part 2 – Precision Rifles

Miles Vining Editor’s note: This is the second part in a series examining the arms and equipment employed by the Iraqi Special Operations Forces, in light of the prominent role played by this unit in recent fighting. Part 1 is available here. Although the suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) threat from the so called Islamic

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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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Bulgarian Arsenal MSGL grenade launcher in Syria & Iraq

The ARES Team Images and video of FSA-aligned Syrian rebel units fighting in the Aleppo area, shared on social media platforms, as well as images of weapons captured by Iraqi security forces during the advance to Fallujah, have shown the use of the Bulgarian Arsenal MSGL revolver-type grenade launcher by various groups in the region. In addition to the MSGL, Iraqi security

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Minimi type light machine gun with pro-Assad group in Syria

Jonathan Ferguson Images posted to personal Facebook pages of members of the Syrian pro-government Suqur al-Sahara (‘Desert Falcons’) non-state armed group prominently feature fighters posing with the Belgian-made FN ‘Minimi’ 5.56 x 45 mm light machine gun (LMG). Suqur al-Sahara has been described as an “elite” formation, primarily consisting of former soldiers. The weapon in

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Muzzleloaders in Modern War

Jonathan Ferguson Just as muzzle-loading firearms are symbols of faded Imperial glory to western Europeans, and of resistance and self-reliance to Americans, antiquated firearms remain important symbols to people in the Middle East. As well as turning out craft-produced Kalashnikov rifles, Makarov pistols, and more besides, there remains a strong market in the craft production of

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Russian MIB type multi-function munition captured by IS in Syria

N.R. Jenzen-Jones On 17 March 2016, the Islamic State displayed a range of equipment it claimed to have recovered from “a Russian military advisor” killed during fighting near Palmyra. The nature of the equipment recovered indicates that the fighter was likely a Russian special operations forces (SOF) EOD operator. Amongst the equipment recovered  was an MIB type

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Russian SOF equipment captured by IS in Syria

Islamic State (IS)-linked ‘news agency’ A’maq has reported on 17 March 2016, via their official account on the messaging app Telegram, on the killing of “a Russian military advisor” during skirmishes between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and IS near Palmyra, in the Homs Governorate of Syria. A video shared by IS shows the deceased combatant alongside a selection of his

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Research Report No. 5: A Tale of Two Rifles

ARES is proud to announce the release of the fifth publication in our Research Report series, entitled “A Tale of Two Rifles: The proliferation of F2000 and AK-103 self-loading rifles exported to Libya in 2004 – 2009“. This research report examines the proliferation of Belgian FN Herstal F2000 and Russian IZHMASH (now Kalashnikov Concern) AK-103-2 self-loading rifles within

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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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