Middle East update: June 17-18 2017

IRAQ Iraqi forces said on Sunday that they’ve begun their attack on Mosul’s Old City, ISIS’s one real remaining stronghold and the district from which they’ve been able to hold out for several months now. But as usual with these sorts of announcements, this one is surrounded by contradictory and confusing reports from the Iraqis… Continue reading Middle East update: June 17-18 2017

Conflict update: May 1 2017

ISRAEL-PALESTINE A potentially significant development on this front took place today: Hamas has unveiled a new political programme softening its stance on Israel by accepting the idea of a Palestinian state in territories occupied by Israel in the six-day war of 1967. The new document states that the Islamist movement it is not seeking war… Continue reading Conflict update: May 1 2017

Conflict update: March 11-12 2017

TURKEY So let’s start with the good news: Turkey and the Netherlands haven’t declared war on each other. Yet. As far as I know. But the good news pretty much ends there. On Saturday, Dutch authorities took the fairly provocative step–look, I give Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a lot of shit around here, but I don’t… Continue reading Conflict update: March 11-12 2017

Conflict update: January 4 2017

I’m hoping this will be a short one tonight, but I never know until I actually start writing. It’s like a fun mystery we get to explore together. Well, not really. United Nations Senators Statler and Waldorf John McCain and Lindsey Graham are among the Republicans leading a push to cut much or all US… Continue reading Conflict update: January 4 2017

Conflict update: December 13, 2016

Lots to cover today, unfortunately. Syria Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, told the UN Security Council today that the Syrian government is now fully in control of Aleppo and that military operations in the city have stopped. Now, this is the second or third, or tenth or whatever, time that the Russians have said the… Continue reading Conflict update: December 13, 2016

Conflict update: December 12

Syria Aleppo is, for all practical purposes, back in the Syrian government’s hands: Syrian state media said President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had captured 98% of the eastern areas of Aleppo that have been largely rebel-held since 2012. The rebels and the opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime forces were in control… Continue reading Conflict update: December 12

Conflict update: December 11

Egypt A major bomb (12 kg of TNT) hit St. Mark’s Cathedral (see the photo above) in Cairo this morning, killing at least 25 people, wounding at least 49, and from the photos I’ve seen absolutely pulverizing the interior of the church. No group has claimed responsibility yet as far as I can tell, but… Continue reading Conflict update: December 11