Topic: Military history/Middle Eastern military history

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πŸ”— Zamburak

πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Military history/Military science, technology, and theory πŸ”— Military history/Weaponry πŸ”— Military history/Middle Eastern military history

Zamburak (Persian: Ψ²Ω…Ψ¨ΩˆΨ±Ϊ©β€Ž), literally meaning wasp, was a specialized form of self-propelled artillery from the early modern period, featuring small cannons fired from swivel-mounts on camels. The operator of a zamburak is known as a zamburakchi. The weapon was used by the gunpowder empires, especially the Iranian empires of the Safavid dynasty, Timurid Empire and Afsharid dynasty, due to the ruggedness of the Iranian Plateau, which made typical transportation of heavy cannons problematic.

The zamburak became a deadly weapon in the 18th century. The Pashtuns used it to deadly effect in the Battle of Gulnabad, routing a numerically superior imperial Safavid army. The zamburak was also used successfully in Nader's Campaigns, when the shah and military genius Nader Shah utilized a zamburak corps in conjunction with a regular artillery corps of conventional cannon to devastating effect in numerous battles such as at the Battle of Damghan (1729), the Battle of Yeghevārd, and the Battle of Karnal.

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πŸ”— The Gulf War Did Not Take Place

πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Books πŸ”— Military history/Middle Eastern military history πŸ”— Military history/Military historiography

The Gulf War Did Not Take Place (French: La Guerre du Golfe n'a pas eu lieu) is a collection of three short essays by Jean Baudrillard published in the French newspaper LibΓ©ration and British paper The Guardian between January and March 1991.

While the author acknowledges that the events and violence of what has been called the Gulf War took place, he asks if the events that took place were really as they were presented, and could they be called a war? The title is a reference to the play The Trojan War Will Not Take Place by Jean Giraudoux (in which characters attempt to prevent what the audience knows is inevitable).

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πŸ”— Project Babylon

πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Military history/Military science, technology, and theory πŸ”— Military history/Weaponry πŸ”— Iraq πŸ”— Military history/Middle Eastern military history

Project Babylon was a space gun project commissioned by then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. It involved building a series of "superguns". The design was based on research from the 1960s Project HARP led by the Canadian artillery expert Gerald Bull. There were most likely four different devices in the program.

The project began in 1988; it was halted in 1990 after Bull was assassinated, and parts of the superguns were seized in transit around Europe. The components that remained in Iraq were destroyed by the United Nations after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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πŸ”— Stuxnet

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Military history/North American military history πŸ”— Military history/United States military history πŸ”— Military history/Military science, technology, and theory πŸ”— Military history/Weaponry πŸ”— Iran πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Computing/Computer Security πŸ”— Military history/Middle Eastern military history

Stuxnet is a malicious computer worm, first uncovered in 2010, thought to have been in development since at least 2005. Stuxnet targets supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and is believed to be responsible for causing substantial damage to the nuclear program of Iran. Although neither country has openly admitted responsibility, the worm is widely understood to be a cyberweapon built jointly by the United States and Israel.

Stuxnet specifically targets programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which allow the automation of electromechanical processes such as those used to control machinery and industrial processes including gas centrifuges for separating nuclear material. Exploiting four zero-day flaws, Stuxnet functions by targeting machines using the Microsoft Windows operating system and networks, then seeking out Siemens Step7 software. Stuxnet reportedly compromised Iranian PLCs, collecting information on industrial systems and causing the fast-spinning centrifuges to tear themselves apart. Stuxnet's design and architecture are not domain-specific and it could be tailored as a platform for attacking modern supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and PLC systems (e.g., in factory assembly lines or power plants), most of which are in Europe, Japan, and the US. Stuxnet reportedly ruined almost one-fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges. Targeting industrial control systems, the worm infected over 200,000 computers and caused 1,000 machines to physically degrade.

Stuxnet has three modules: a worm that executes all routines related to the main payload of the attack; a link file that automatically executes the propagated copies of the worm; and a rootkit component responsible for hiding all malicious files and processes, to prevent detection of Stuxnet. It is typically introduced to the target environment via an infected USB flash drive, thus crossing any air gap. The worm then propagates across the network, scanning for Siemens Step7 software on computers controlling a PLC. In the absence of either criterion, Stuxnet becomes dormant inside the computer. If both the conditions are fulfilled, Stuxnet introduces the infected rootkit onto the PLC and Step7 software, modifying the code and giving unexpected commands to the PLC while returning a loop of normal operation system values back to the users.

In 2015, Kaspersky Lab noted that the Equation Group had used two of the same zero-day attacks prior to their use in Stuxnet and commented that "the similar type of usage of both exploits together in different computer worms, at around the same time, indicates that the Equation Group and the Stuxnet developers are either the same or working closely together".

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πŸ”— USS Liberty Incident (1967) – 34 killed, 171 injured, gag order on survivors

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Military history/Military aviation πŸ”— Military history/North American military history πŸ”— Military history/United States military history πŸ”— United States/Military history - U.S. military history πŸ”— Military history/Intelligence πŸ”— Military history/Maritime warfare πŸ”— Ships πŸ”— Israel πŸ”— Palestine πŸ”— Military history/Middle Eastern military history

The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship (spy ship), USSΒ Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two marines, and one civilian NSA employee), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship. At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5 nautical miles (47.2Β km; 29.3Β mi) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.

Israel apologized for the attack, saying that the USS Liberty had been attacked in error after being mistaken for an Egyptian ship. Both the Israeli and U.S. governments conducted inquiries and issued reports that concluded the attack was a mistake due to Israeli confusion about the ship's identity. Others, including survivors of the attack, have rejected these conclusions and maintain that the attack was deliberate.

In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$3.32Β million (equivalent to US$29.1Β million in 2023) to the U.S. government in compensation for the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3.57Β million ($29.6Β million in 2023) to the men who had been wounded. In December 1980, it agreed to pay $6Β million ($22.2Β million in 2023) as the final settlement for material damage to the ship plus 13 years of interest.

πŸ”— Balfour Declaration

πŸ”— History πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— British Empire πŸ”— Military history/World War I πŸ”— Politics of the United Kingdom πŸ”— Arab world πŸ”— Jewish history πŸ”— Israel πŸ”— Palestine πŸ”— Former countries πŸ”— Military history/Middle Eastern military history πŸ”— Former countries/Ottoman Empire πŸ”— British Library

The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing its support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. The declaration was contained in a letter dated 2Β November 1917 from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The text of the declaration was published in the press on 9Β November 1917.

Immediately following their declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire in November 1914, the British War Cabinet began to consider the future of Palestine; within two months a memorandum was circulated to the Cabinet by a Zionist Cabinet member, Herbert Samuel, proposing the support of Zionist ambitions in order to enlist the support of Jews in the wider war. A committee was established in April 1915 by British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith to determine their policy towards the Ottoman Empire including Palestine. Asquith, who had favoured post-war reform of the Ottoman Empire, resigned in December 1916; his replacement David Lloyd George favoured partition of the Empire. The first negotiations between the British and the Zionists took place at a conference on 7 February 1917 that included Sir Mark Sykes and the Zionist leadership. Subsequent discussions led to Balfour's request, on 19 June, that Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann submit a draft of a public declaration. Further drafts were discussed by the British Cabinet during September and October, with input from Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews but with no representation from the local population in Palestine.

By late 1917, in the lead-up to the Balfour Declaration, the wider war had reached a stalemate, with two of Britain's allies not fully engaged: the United States had yet to suffer a casualty, and the Russians were in the midst of a revolution with Bolsheviks taking over the government. A stalemate in southern Palestine was broken by the Battle of Beersheba on 31 October 1917. The release of the final declaration was authorised on 31 October; the preceding Cabinet discussion had referenced perceived propaganda benefits amongst the worldwide Jewish community for the Allied war effort.

The opening words of the declaration represented the first public expression of support for Zionism by a major political power. The term "national home" had no precedent in international law, and was intentionally vague as to whether a Jewish state was contemplated. The intended boundaries of Palestine were not specified, and the British government later confirmed that the words "in Palestine" meant that the Jewish national home was not intended to cover all of Palestine. The second half of the declaration was added to satisfy opponents of the policy, who had claimed that it would otherwise prejudice the position of the local population of Palestine and encourage antisemitism worldwide by "stamping the Jews as strangers in their native lands". The declaration called for safeguarding the civil and religious rights for the Palestinian Arabs, who composed the vast majority of the local population, and also the rights and political status of the Jewish communities in other countries outside of Palestine. The British government acknowledged in 1939 that the local population's wishes and interests should have been taken into account, and recognised in 2017 that the declaration should have called for the protection of the Palestinian Arabs' political rights.

The declaration had many long-lasting consequences. It greatly increased popular support for Zionism within Jewish communities worldwide, and became a core component of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founding document of Mandatory Palestine. It indirectly led to the emergence of Israel and is considered a principal cause of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, often described as the world's most intractable conflict. Controversy remains over a number of areas, such as whether the declaration contradicted earlier promises the British made to the Sharif of Mecca in the McMahon–Hussein correspondence.

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πŸ”— 1956 Suez Crisis

πŸ”— France πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— British Empire πŸ”— Military history/French military history πŸ”— Military history/Cold War πŸ”— Colonialism πŸ”— Egypt πŸ”— Israel πŸ”— Palestine πŸ”— Military history/Middle Eastern military history πŸ”— Military history/European military history πŸ”— Military history/British military history

The Suez Crisis or the Second Arab–Israeli War, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression in the Arab world and as the Sinai War in Israel, was a British–French–Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956. Israel invaded on 29 October, having done so with the primary objective of re-opening the Straits of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba as the recent tightening of the eight-year-long Egyptian blockade further prevented Israeli passage. After issuing a joint ultimatum for a ceasefire, the United Kingdom and France joined the Israelis on 5 November, seeking to depose Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and regain control of the Suez Canal, which Nasser had earlier nationalised by transferring administrative control from the foreign-owned Suez Canal Company to Egypt's new government-owned Suez Canal Authority. Shortly after the invasion began, the three countries came under heavy political pressure from both the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as from the United Nations, eventually prompting their withdrawal from Egypt. Israel's four-month-long occupation of the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula enabled it to attain freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran, but the Suez Canal itself was closed from October 1956 to March 1957. The Suez Crisis led to international humiliation for the British and the French in the wake of the Cold War, which established the Americans and the Soviets as the world's superpowers. It also strengthened Nasser's standing.

Before they were defeated, Egyptian troops had blocked all ship traffic by sinking 40 ships in the Suez Canal. It later became clear that Israel, the United Kingdom, and France had conspired to invade Egypt. Though the three allies had attained a number of their military objectives, the Suez Canal itself was useless. American president Dwight D. Eisenhower had issued a strong warning to the British if they were to invade Egypt; he threatened serious damage to the British financial system by selling the American government's bonds of pound sterling. Historians have concluded that the Suez Crisis "signified the end of Great Britain's role as one of the world's major powers" vis-Γ -vis the United States and the Soviet Union.

As a result of the conflict, the United Nations established the United Nations Emergency Force to police and patrol the Egypt–Israel border, while British prime minister Anthony Eden resigned from his position. For his diplomatic efforts in resolving the conflict through United Nations initiatives, Canadian external affairs minister Lester B. Pearson received a Nobel Peace Prize. Analysts have argued that the Suez Crisis may have emboldened the Soviet Union, prompting the Soviet invasion of Hungary.

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πŸ”— Highway of Death

πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Military history/North American military history πŸ”— Military history/United States military history πŸ”— Palestine πŸ”— Western Asia πŸ”— Military history/Middle Eastern military history πŸ”— Western Asia/Kuwait

The Highway of Death (Arabic: Ψ·Ψ±ΩŠΩ‚ Ψ§Ω„Ω…ΩˆΨͺ αΉ­arΔ«q al-mawt) is a six-lane highway between Kuwait and Iraq, officially known as Highway 80. It runs from Kuwait City to the border town of Safwan in Iraq and then on to the Iraqi city of Basra. The road was used by Iraqi armored divisions for the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It was repaired after the Gulf War and used by U.S. and British forces in the initial stages of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

During the American-led coalition offensive in the Persian Gulf War, American, Canadian, British and French aircraft and ground forces attacked retreating Iraqi military personnel attempting to leave Kuwait on the night of February 26–27, 1991, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of vehicles and the deaths of many of their occupants. Between 1,400 and 2,000 vehicles were hit or abandoned on the main Highway 80 north of Al Jahra.

The scenes of devastation on the road are some of the most recognizable images of the war, and it has been suggested that they were a factor in President George H. W. Bush's decision to declare a cessation of hostilities the next day. Many Iraqi forces successfully escaped across the Euphrates river, and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency estimated that upwards of 70,000 to 80,000 troops from defeated divisions in Kuwait might have fled into Basra, evading capture.