Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

Forewarning: this post is mostly outsourced. For background you’ll want to read Michael Collins Dunn’s account of the Second Battle of Kut from late February. April 1916’s First Battle of Kut, as we know, was a complete Ottoman victory and one of the low points for Britain in the whole war. Following that disaster, the British… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Mongols sack Baghdad (1258)

The end of the Abbasid caliphate managed to be both somewhat anti-climactic and historically pivotal at the same time. In any practical sense, the caliphs had stopped being politically relevant in 945, when the Iranian Buyids seized Baghdad and put the caliphate under their “protection.” Even this was really the end of a process rather… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Mongols sack Baghdad (1258)

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

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

Maude wisely spent the rest of 1916 repairing the damage that had been done in the campaign that culminated at Kut. He recruited new troops from India, trained them, and had his engineers build out a rail network that could support a full-scale northern offensive. His target was Baghdad, which at this particular point in… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Mongols sack Baghdad (1258)

Still, imagine the psychological shock to Muslims around the world to see Islam’s greatest city and its symbolic leader brought down like this. I don’t think we have any modern reference for it–maybe seeing the Nazis march into Paris, though I don’t even think that does it justice. Constantinople’s fall to the Ottomans was probably… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Mongols sack Baghdad (1258)

Middle East update: November 10 2017

Best wishes to any readers who are commemorating Arbaʿeen. and/or Veteran’s Day (which is actually tomorrow, I know, but Saturday is typically attwiw’s rest day so I most likely won’t be here). SYRIA Well, it’s happening. With al-Bukamal now in Syrian hands, Bashar al-Assad’s army and its allies have turned their attention toward the Syrian… Continue reading Middle East update: November 10 2017

Middle East update: August 28 2017

IRAQ The Battle of Tal Afar is…over? Seriously? Eight days and the city is liberated? Well, yes, as it turns out. The battle ended on Sunday, after a lightning Iraqi offensive from three directions that cut through the city and then swept across it much faster than most analysts, yours truly included, expected it would.… Continue reading Middle East update: August 28 2017