Middle East update: July 12 2018

SYRIA The Syrian military seized the city of Daraa on Thursday, symbolically flying the Syrian flag in the middle of town in commemoration. Daraa is an important tactical victory–you can’t control southwestern Syria without it, obviously. But it may be an even bigger symbolic victory, because it was in Daraa in the spring of 2011… Continue reading Middle East update: July 12 2018

World update: July 11 2018

It’s another hectic day at HQ so I’m going to try to be briefer and earlier than usual again. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Syrian and Russian attention in Daraa province has focused on the Yarmouk Basin, where an ISIS affiliate called Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid has been ensconced since 2014. ISIS and its subdivisions aren’t covered under… Continue reading World update: July 11 2018

Middle East update: June 23-24 2018

I’m going to be away for most of the next two weeks so these will be our last major updates until July 5. SYRIA Israel on Sunday launched a Patriot missile at a Syrian drone it says was about to cross into Israeli airspace. The missile missed and the drone apparently turned back on its… Continue reading Middle East update: June 23-24 2018

Middle East update: June 21 2018

SYRIA Syrian artillery struck more targets in the rebel-held southwest on Thursday, and it seems as though Bashar al-Assad has finally committed to that area as his next target. Thousands of civilians have reportedly begun fleeing parts of Daraa province in anticipating of a government offensive there. The Syrian military appears to be focusing its… Continue reading Middle East update: June 21 2018

Middle East update: June 14 2018

MIDDLE EAST During its rise as a global power, China’s approach to the Middle East has been in many ways the polar opposite of America’s. Beijing works with pretty much everybody, stays out of conflicts, doesn’t get on anyone for human rights issues, etc. It doesn’t take sides, therefore it doesn’t get bogged down in… Continue reading Middle East update: June 14 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: May 31 2018

SYRIA Bashar al-Assad must be feeling pretty good about himself, because in an interview with Russia Today that was broadcast on Thursday he threatened to attack northeastern Syria if the Kurds won’t agree to return it to government control, whether US solders are in the way or not. Assad cited the example of Iraq as… Continue reading Middle East update: May 31 2018