Middle East update: April 1 2019

YEMEN Al Jazeera claims to have proof that the Saudi-led coalition is recruiting Yemen children as soldiers to defend the Saudi border from Houthi rebels: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFk-JzI-pYw There are a couple of things to bear in mind here. One is that this is an Al Jazeera product and Al Jazeera is of course owned by the … Continue reading Middle East update: April 1 2019

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World update: March 30-31 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum survived an assassination attempt on Saturday that left one of his bodyguards dead. Taliban fighters attacked Dostum's convoy in Balkh province, kicking off an hourlong gun battle. Dostum has now survived two assassination attempts (the first one made by ISIS) since returning from self-imposed exile in Turkey … Continue reading World update: March 30-31 2019

Middle East update: March 29 2019

SYRIA Al-Monitor's Amberin Zaman reports that Arab tribes aligned with the Syrian Democratic Forces have been trying to cut their own deals with the Syrian government, potentially leaving the Kurdish YPG militia--the largest faction within the SDF--holding the proverbial bag: On March 23 the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared victory after the fall of … Continue reading Middle East update: March 29 2019

Today in European history: the Siege of Thessaloniki ends (1430)

The city of Thessaloniki (formerly Thessalonica) always struck me as one of the ultimate urban runners up in history. It became the most important city in Macedonia…right before the Romans showed up. It became an important Roman city…because it was a way point on the main route from Rome to Byzantium. When the Roman Empire … Continue reading Today in European history: the Siege of Thessaloniki ends (1430)