Middle East update: July 11 2017

IRAQ As you may have heard, the Battle for Mosul is now officially over. Unfortunately, the fighting in Mosul is not. The United Nations estimates that some 3000 civilians, mostly disabled, elderly, and children, are still trapped in a small pocket of the Old City where several ISIS fighters are believed to be holed up.… Continue reading Middle East update: July 11 2017

Middle East update: July 4-5 2017

IRAQ With victory in Mosul more in sight than ever, Iraqi leaders are just itching to declare victory or at least to predict when they will be declaring victory: Iraqi commanders and politicians continue to jump the gun on the finale in Mosul. Prime Minister Haider Abadi in his weekly speech congratulated the ISF for… Continue reading Middle East update: July 4-5 2017

Middle East update: July 1-2 2017

SYRIA At least eight people, in addition to the bombers, were killed in Damascus on Sunday in a multiple car bombing. Three cars attempted to get into the central part of the city, but two were stopped at checkpoints and deliberately detonated, so the attack certainly could have been worse. As such the Syrian government… Continue reading Middle East update: July 1-2 2017

Middle East update: June 24-25 2017

IRAQ OK, even I’ll admit this is a nice story: People in the Iraqi city of Mosul celebrated their first Muslim Eid holiday without Islamic State in years on Sunday after the militants were ejected from much of the city, and hoped the battle to recapture the remaining area would soon be over. Children gathered… Continue reading Middle East update: June 24-25 2017

Middle East update: June 21 2017

SAUDI ARABIA OK, time for some more BIG, BREAKING news on today’s huge shakeup in the Saudi line of succession…but, you know what? There really hasn’t been any. If you were hoping for some serious Saud family drama, then at the very least you’re going to have to keep hoping for a while longer, assuming… Continue reading Middle East update: June 21 2017

Middle East update: June 16 2017

SYRIA And here we go: A pair of top White House officials is pushing to broaden the war in Syria, viewing it as an opportunity to confront Iran and its proxy forces on the ground there, according to two sources familiar with the debate inside the Donald Trump administration. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for… Continue reading Middle East update: June 16 2017

Middle East update: June 13 2017

QATAR Today in “Me Or Your Lying Eyes,” it’s Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir: “There is no blockade of Qatar. Qatar is free to go. The ports are open, the airports are open,” Jubeir said alongside a silent Tillerson who had called last week for the embargo on Qatar to be “eased”. “The limitation on… Continue reading Middle East update: June 13 2017