World update: June 22 2018

MIDDLE EAST SYRIA ISIS’s Amaq news agency is claiming that ISIS carried out an attack against Syrian Democratic Forces personnel in Raqqa on Thursday, which if true would be the group’s first attack in the city since leaving it last October. So far I’ve seen no independent confirmation of anything like this having happened. Meanwhile,… Continue reading World update: June 22 2018

Middle East update: June 16-18 2018

SYRIA Syrian and Iraqi paramilitary groups say that the US-led coalition attacked them late Sunday night. The groups say that drones, which they believe to belong to the US, struck a Syrian military base near the border town of al-Harra, southeast of al-Bukamal, at around 10 PM. The Iraqis claim the attack killed 22 of… Continue reading Middle East update: June 16-18 2018

World update: June 15 2018

Eid Mubarak! ASIA UZBEKISTAN Maybe Uzbekistan isn’t at the top of your world tourism list. I get that. Parts of the country are supposed to be amazing, like Samarkand. On the other hand, their last president had that whole “boiling people to death” thing happening. But if the change in leadership hasn’t convinced you to… Continue reading World update: June 15 2018

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 11 2018

It may be a spare couple of days around here as I fulfill some freelance obligations, so please bear with me. SYRIA Syrian state media reported on Monday that the US-led coalition bombed a school in Syria’s Hasaka province and killed 18 Iraqi refugees in the process. The coalition is denying it, and here we’re once again… Continue reading Middle East update: June 11 2018

Middle East update: June 6 2018

SYRIA The Manbij Military Council, the Syrian Democratic Forces-created institution currently in charge of Manbij, says that it “will not accept” a Turkish presence in that town. This would appear to be a major complication to the roadmap to which the United States and Turkey just agreed on Monday for evacuating the YPG from the… Continue reading Middle East update: June 6 2018

Middle East update: June 4 2018

SYRIA US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu have reportedly reached agreement on a “roadmap” for the Kurdish-occupied Syrian town of Manbij after a meeting in Washington on Monday. It’s unclear what exactly the roadmap entails beyond a phased YPG withdrawal from Manbij–it’s hard to imagine Turkey agreeing to anything less–with… Continue reading Middle East update: June 4 2018