Country with the Strongest Military in the Middle East

Country with the Strongest Military in the Middle East

Al Jazeera calls Israel one of the countries with the best military power in the Middle East and even the world. The country which is currently at odds with Palestine receives defense funding assistance of more than US$3.8 billion per year from the United States.

So, which countries in the Middle East are supported by the strongest militaries?

List of Countries with the Strongest Military in the Middle East

The Middle East is the term for the region around the southern and eastern coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, including the Arabian Peninsula. According to Britannica, there are several definitions which state that Iran and North Africa, even further afield, are also part of the Middle East.

Countries in the Middle East region, namely Iraq, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus, Yemen and Jordan. Apart from that, the Middle East area also includes the territorial countries of Arabia, such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The military ranking portal Global Firepower (GFP) released a list of 15 countries in the Middle East region that are equipped with the best defense. The arrangement is assessed based on more than 60 factors to determine the final strength index (PowerIndex) score.

A number of factors taken into account are the number of units of the main weapons system, national financial conditions, as well as logistical capabilities and geography. The following is a list of the top 10 countries with the strongest militaries in the Middle East 2023:

1. Türkiye

Turkey is in first position as the country supported by the best military power in the Middle East with a PowerIndex score of 0.2016. The country led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is estimated to recruit 425,000 active soldiers, 200,000 reserve personnel and 150,000 paramilitary troops.

2. Egypt

Egypt ranked 2nd with a strength index score of 0.2224. The country nicknamed the Land of the Pyramids is said to have allocated funds for the national defense system of up to US$4.3 billion per year.

3. Iran

Iran's military strength index score according to Global Firepower is 0.2712. Despite being ranked one level below Egypt, Iran is spending a higher defense system budget, namely US$5.5 billion on in 2023. 

Apart from that, the country led by Ebrahim Raeisi is estimated to have 19 models of cruise and ballistic missiles. .

4. Israel

Apart from a fantastic budget, the Israeli military is also equipped with various sophisticated defense equipment, one of the most famous of which is the Iron Dome. Israel also requires its citizens over the age of 18 to participate in military service. Israel's defense strength will achieve a PowerIndex score of 0.2757 in 2023.

5. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the countries with the strongest military in the Middle East in 2023 because it obtained a PowerIndex score of 0.3626. With a defense budget of US$81 billion, Saudi Arabia is able to buy 500 modern fighter jets, 800 Leopard 2 tanks, and up to 7,000 armored vehicles.

6. Iraq

Reporting from the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) page, Iraq is estimated to support its national defense system with defense equipment purchased for US$ 25 billion in just 9 years (1980-1989). With the presence of this weapons system, Negeri 1001 Nights achieved a PowerIndex score of 0.7365.

7. UAE

A country known as the home of oil and gas sultans, the UAE has a defense budget of US$14.4 billion. With these funds, the United Arab Emirates can collect 444 fighter aircraft and obtain a strength index score of 0.8978.

8. Syria

Syria received a PowerIndex score of 1.1095 from Global Firepower. The country led by Bashar al-Assad has 208 fighter jets, 18 attack aircraft, 67 training aircraft and 2,616 armored vehicles.

9. Qatar

Qatar managed to achieve 9th place as the country with the best military power in the Middle East region. The strength index score is 1.1296.

10. Yemen

In 10th place, Yemen has made it onto the list of countries with the strongest military in the Middle East in 2023 because it achieved a PowerIndex score of 1.4081. The strength of the defense system in the southernmost country on the Arabian Peninsula is supported by 76 fighter aircraft and 14 attack helicopters.

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