Sign up for GZERO's daily newsletter

{{ subpage.title }}

Ukrainian servicemen on the frontline.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: Armored combat vehicles for Ukraine, Biden’s border move, Bibi’s team vs. High Court, Assad’s new friends

New foreign weapons head to the Ukrainian battlefield

Both Russia and Ukraine have been using weapons supplied by allies to real effect. Iranian-made drones have allowed Russia to inflict significant damage on Ukrainian cities, infrastructure, and civilians, and Tehran may also soon help Russia with missiles. North Korea may be providing weapons as well. On the other side, Ukraine has made effective use of US-supplied, highly mobile, precision-guided HIMARS rocket systems to hit long-range Russian targets with remarkable accuracy. This weapon made news again this week with an attack on a barracks that killed dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Russian soldiers with a single strike. The Biden administration also said last month that it would supply a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pressed Germany and France to provide battlefield weapons that his generals say they need. This week, France announced it will supply Ukraine with several dozen "light battle tanks" (the term tank being debatable) and the US and Germany followed suit, confirming on Thursday that they will send armored combat vehicles to Ukraine and that Berlin will dispatch an additional Patriot. The new Western support — a big shift in policy — signals to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine’s friends remain committed to its defense and unintimidated by Russian efforts to raise the stakes.

Read more Show less

A woman sits with children on a rubble from damaged buildings in Kobani, Syria.

REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

Syria before and after

This week, we mark the 10-year anniversary of the beginning of Syria's catastrophic civil war.

Read more Show less

Syria under pressure

Syria's civil war, which began in 2011, has killed more than 380,000 people and forced more than 11 million from their homes. Many of the displaced are now in Europe, Turkey, Jordan, or other neighboring countries. The Syrian economy today is a third of its pre-war size.

But the government of Bashar-al Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, remains in power and controls about two-thirds of Syrian territory, much of that recaptured from rebels. Most of the rest of the country's land is occupied by US-backed Kurds, Turkey's army, or jihadis.

Read more Show less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily

Latest