Where in the World Is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

So I’m seeing an increasing amount of chatter on the Twitter that none other than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself has been trapped in Mosul and is perhaps not long for this world. And while I agree that this would be a hilarious rebuttal to Donald Trump’s barely coherent debate rant about how come we don’t… Continue reading Where in the World Is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

Talk about neo-Ottomanism

I guess Tayyip Erdoğan was feeling especially salty today: Hopes of defusing the escalating crisis between Turkey and Iraq ahead of a critical battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) were all but shattered after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to “know his place.” “Iraq had certain requests… Continue reading Talk about neo-Ottomanism

That time of year

The month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, is one of four months that, in addition to Ramadan, are explicitly identified as sacred months in the Qurʾan. This is probably an extension of a pre-Islamic Arabian tradition wherein certain months were set aside to be free from violence. The tenth day… Continue reading That time of year

Well, it’s not raining everywhere

  Syria and Ukraine might be enjoying new, if probably temporary, ceasefires, but as for Libya… Libyan forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar said on Monday they had tightened their control over four major oil ports, casting a Western-backed project to unite Libya and revive oil exports into deep uncertainty. Haftar’s forces met little… Continue reading Well, it’s not raining everywhere

Turkey is shaking up the whole Syrian civil war right now

I’ll let you all in on a little secret: while I’ve been on “hiatus” this week I’ve actually been working anyway. I’ve been guest-editing LobeLog while the regular editor is on vacation, but mostly for the past few days I was working on a piece about recent events in Syria. Over the weekend, Assad’s air… Continue reading Turkey is shaking up the whole Syrian civil war right now