Middle East update: May 23 2018

SYRIA A media outfit with links to Hezbollah reported early on Thursday that the US-led coalition struck the Syrian army in two places near the Iraqi border. At this point the story is unconfirmed and there’s no indication why the coalition bombed those targets, nor has there been any report of casualties. Researcher Aymann Jawad… Continue reading Middle East update: May 23 2018

Middle East update: March 19 2018

SYRIA Monitoring groups and journalists reported on Monday that Turkey’s Syrian proxy forces have been looting Afrin in the aftermath of the YPG’s retreat from that city: Pictures showed soldiers flying a Turkish flag from a building, and rebels tearing down a statue of the Kurdish hero Kawa Haddad.   AFP news agency journalists in… Continue reading Middle East update: March 19 2018

Middle East update: February 28 2018

SYRIA So there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Wednesday’s five hour humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta did actually take place, unlike Tuesday’s scheduled pause. The bad news is that the overall situation in the Damascus suburb continues to deteriorate: Syrian government forces launched a ground assault on the edge of… Continue reading Middle East update: February 28 2018

Middle East update: September 27-28 2017

ISIS ISIS released a new (?) audio recording from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Thursday. Baghdadi, assuming it was really him, offered the usual “keep fighting” pablum that these messages always include, but the real reason anybody listens to these things is in order to gain some clues into whether or not the guy is still… Continue reading Middle East update: September 27-28 2017

Middle East update: September 1 2017

In an effort to not be up until 2 AM for a change, I’m going to try wrapping things up early today and see how that goes. I don’t want to say this could be the new normal, but for my own sanity I may start trying to get these updates out a little earlier… Continue reading Middle East update: September 1 2017

Conflict update: February 16 2017

Like Sands Through the Hourglass The longer this day wore on with no word that Robert Harward had accepted Donald Trump’s once-in-a-lifetime offer to witness a four year-long tire fire firsthand, the more it began to seem like Harward might pass. And, sure enough, a couple of hours ago word broke that Harward had, in… Continue reading Conflict update: February 16 2017