World update: March 11 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Taliban carried out an attack on an Afghan military base in Badghis province on Monday, killing or capturing the entire company of soldiers there. The attackers reportedly killed 16 Afghan soldiers and took another 40 prisoner. The Taliban has been focusing its efforts on Baghdis province’s Bala Murghab district, which provincial officials… Continue reading World update: March 11 2019

World update part 1: March 1 2019

MIDDLE EAST SYRIA The Syrian Democratic Forces on Friday began what should be their final offensive to capture Baghouz and close off the last ISIS-controlled enclave in Syria. The SDF has spent the past couple of weeks evacuating thousands of civilians, escaped slaves, and even some fleeing ISIS fighters from the town–some 10,000 people are… Continue reading World update part 1: March 1 2019

Asia/Africa update: February 23-24 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Afghan peace talks may be approaching a breakthrough, but it’s come at a high cost. The United Nations says that 2018 was the deadliest year for civilians in at least the last decade, with 3804 killed: In a report released Sunday, the United Nations attributed almost two-thirds of civilian casualties — 63 percent… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: February 23-24 2019

World update: January 30 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Taliban is trying to assure other Afghans that, if it does conclude a peace deal with the US and US forces do withdraw from Afghanistan, they’re not looking to seize total control of the country again: The statement Wednesday by Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen appears aimed at easing fears among those worried… Continue reading World update: January 30 2019

Asia/Africa update: January 22 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The official death toll from Monday’s Taliban suicide bombing in Maidan Wardak province stands at 43, for now, but unofficial reports still put the total killed at well over 100. The Afghans may only be reporting deaths among the National Directorate of Security staff–some of the wording in the stories I’ve read today… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 22 2019

Asia/Africa update: January 12-13 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Taliban killed at least five Afghan police officers in an attack on a checkpoint in Kandahar province on Saturday. In Herat province, a suspected Taliban attack on a police station left at least five more people dead. The New York Times reports on one of the many problems facing the Afghan government if… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 12-13 2019

Asia/Oceania/Africa update: January 9 2019

ASIA AZERBAIJAN They’re small, but there have been some signals from Baku lately suggesting that Azerbaijani officials see an opening to improve relations with Armenia under (still relatively new) Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Senior Azerbaijani officials have been making unusually positive statements in recent weeks. In December, President Ilham Aliyev tweeted that “The year 2019… Continue reading Asia/Oceania/Africa update: January 9 2019