Middle East update: June 13 2018

SYRIA The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reported on Wednesday that both sarin and chlorine gases were used in attacks around the village of Ltamenah in Hama province last March. The OPCW’s findings only pertain to the use of chemical weapons and do not by rule identify the perpetrator or perpetrators. Southwestern Syria still… Continue reading Middle East update: June 13 2018

Middle East update: June 2-3 2018

SYRIA Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem made it clear to reporters in Damascus on Saturday that his government is targeting southern Syria next. Muallem said that the government wants to retake rebel-held parts of Quneitra and Daraa provinces in southwestern Syria, though it will attempt to do so through reconciliation/evacuation agreements with the rebels before it… Continue reading Middle East update: June 2-3 2018

World update: June 1 2018

I’m planning to do something crazy later today and have a nice evening with my family, so we’re shortening things up a bit today. If anything huge happens, please check back later for possible updates. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA According to Rudaw, the YPG is claiming to have attacked two Turkish military bases in Afrin on… Continue reading World update: June 1 2018

Middle East update: May 4 2018

SYRIA The State Department announced on Friday that it’s suspending its funding for several civil society groups in Syria, including and most prominently the Syrian civil defense organization known as the “White Helmets”: Less than two months ago the State Department hosted members of the White Helmets at Foggy Bottom. At the time, the humanitarian… Continue reading Middle East update: May 4 2018

Middle East update: May 3 2018

SYRIA It was one step forward and one step back in Syria on Thursday. Rebel fighters in the enclave around Yarmouk finally began to evacuate that area (ISIS is still holding out in Yarmouk itself) under the terms of a deal they reached with Damascus and Russia several days ago. However, a group of fighters… Continue reading Middle East update: May 3 2018

Middle East update: April 20 2018

SYRIA The Syrian military continues to pound away at Yarmouk and the surrounding areas in an effort to clear out the last area near Damascus that remains out of its control. Insurgents there–including ISIS, which has controlled most of Yarmouk since 2015–have reportedly agreed in principle to be relocated (ISIS fighters to the east, everybody… Continue reading Middle East update: April 20 2018

Middle East update: April 16 2018

SYRIA BREAKING: Somebody fired some missiles at a Syrian air base near Homs late Monday night. State media says they were all shot down by Syrian air defenses, but who knows. Most likely this was Israel though I suppose at this point you can’t rule anything out. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons… Continue reading Middle East update: April 16 2018