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Middle East military rankings: Turkey highest, Lebanon lowest per global index

Turkey stands out as the most powerful country in terms of its military capacities in its region while Lebanon is the weakest, a global military strength index finds.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar attends a ceremony to honor fallen soldiers at the Brother's Cemetery in Riga city, on July 28, 2022 in Riga, Latvia. (Photo by GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkey has boosted its military power over the past year, moving up two places in the Global Fire Power’s 2023 Military Strength Rankings. At 11th place, it now holds the highest ranking in the Middle East North Africa region.

The defense statistics website Global Fire Power reviewed the military strengths of 145 countries in its 2023 index across the world according to eight categories including troop numbers, national resources, financial situations, logistics and geography. The rankings for Middle East and North Africa region are as follows:

  1. Turkey
  2. Egypt 
  3. Iran 
  4. Israel 
  5. Saudi Arabia 
  6. Algeria 
  7. Iraq 
  8. UAE 
  9. Morocco 
  10. Syria 
  11. Qatar 
  12. Tunisia 
  13. Yemen 
  14. Sudan 
  15. Oman 
  16. Kuwait 
  17. Bahrain 
  18. Libya 
  19. Jordan 
  20. Lebanon

In second place, Egypt is ranked as the most powerful Arab country in terms of its military prowess, with its global ranking standing at 14th. 

Iran has the third most powerful army in its region, according to the index, which ranked the country 17th globally. Interestingly, Israel comes just after Iran at 18th. 

Saudi Arabia stands out as the most powerful country of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The kingdom has the second most powerful army among the Arab states and its global ranking stands at 22nd.

Among the North African countries, Algeria stands out as the most powerful country in terms of its military capacities, with the index ranking it 26th. 

Iraq follows Algeria as the seventh most powerful army in the MENA region and 45th globally.

GCC member The United Arab Emirates is the second most powerful army in the Gulf region and 56th globally. 

Morocco follows the Emirates as the ninth most powerful, according to the index. Its global ranking is 61st.

The Syrian army is the 10th most powerful army in the Middle East and 64th worldwide.

Qatar, Tunisia and Yemen are at 11th, 12th and 13th regionally with their global rankings 65th, 73rd and 74th, the index found.  

The index ranked the strength of the Libyan and Jordanian troops at 80th and 81st, respectively. 

Lebanon stands out as the weakest country in the broader Middle East and North Africa region at 111th.

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