Middle East update: August 5-7 2017

SYRIA Bashar al-Assad’s military is on the offensive again, on two fronts. In Homs province, they were able to capture the town of Sukhna from ISIS on Sunday, which should be the last serious ISIS obstacle between Assad’s forces and besieged Deir Ezzor. Meanwhile, Assad’s air force has been bombing the Damascus suburb of Ein… Continue reading Middle East update: August 5-7 2017

Middle East update: July 12-13 2017

IRAQ A number of things are happening on parallel tracks in Mosul. Most urgently, Iraqi forces are still mopping up pockets of ISIS holdouts and responding to multiple ISIS attacks on villages around Mosul. The village of Jaran was attacks on Wednesday and ISIS fighters still hold most of the village of Imam al-Gharbi. Many… Continue reading Middle East update: July 12-13 2017

Middle East update: July 3 2017

SYRIA The Syrian army on Monday declared a ceasefire in the country’s three southernmost provinces–Daraa, Quneitra, and Suwayda–through July 6. The ceasefire is intended to support the next round of peace talks in Kazakhstan, which are scheduled to begin next week but may be light on rebel participation on account of heavy recent government bombardments,… Continue reading Middle East update: July 3 2017

Middle East update: June 30 2017

I know it’s a little early this evening, but I’m beat and so I’m deciding to call it a night barring some major thing happening. SYRIA Depending on which account you believe, a major ISIS counterattack in Raqqa on Friday either mostly fizzled out or made substantial territorial gains. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights… Continue reading Middle East update: June 30 2017

Middle East update: June 12 2017

QATAR First off, here’s me on today’s Majority Report today talking about Qatar: The Qataris have really latched on to Kuwait’s efforts to mediate their diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia. This makes sense, in that the Kuwait route must seem like the only way out of this mess that doesn’t involve turning Qatar into a… Continue reading Middle East update: June 12 2017

Middle East update: June 8-9 2017

IRAN We’ve learned a bit more about five of the men who, along with two other men and one woman, attacked Iran’s parliament building and Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum on Wednesday, killing 17 people in the process. On Thursday, the Iranian government said that these five attackers had been recruited by ISIS from inside Iran. They were… Continue reading Middle East update: June 8-9 2017

Libya on ceasefire watch

Over the weekend, that potential agreement to end Libya’s civil war got a bit of a boost, but new information suggests that the whole thing might be a bunch of smoke and mirrors. A bunch of world powers, 17 of them in fact, signed a letter supporting the deal that was (supposedly) tentatively reached last… Continue reading Libya on ceasefire watch