Tue, 22 Jan 2019

Israel's military is the most powerful in the Middle East, media reported quoting a study commissioned by Business Insider.

The New York-based business and technology news website ranked the 15 strongest armies in the Midddle East based on independent research of their operational capabilities and hardware, and interviews with experts, Xinhua reported.

The study revealed Tuesday underscored the impact the tumultuous geo-political reality in the region has on countries' military prowess, most notably the civil war in Syria, the struggle for power between Sunni forces led by Saudi Arabia and Shia powers led by Iran, and the social upheavals in Arab capitals in recent years.

"Israel has space assets, advanced fighter jets, high-tech armed drones, and nuclear weapons... Israel also has one of the region's most battle-ready armies, a force that has fought in four major engagements since 2006 and has experience securing a few of the most problematic borders on earth," according to the study's authors.

They noted that while the ranking does not take into account foreign powers' support, Israel's close military ties with the US and an 'energetic' local defence industry give it "a qualitative edge over all of the regions other militaries".

Israel's air force, long revered for its track record in previous wars fought on multiple fronts, has "incredibly high entry and training standards," the study read.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia were ranked the second and third most powerful militaries in the region, respectively, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

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