Middle East update: April 5 2018

SYRIA Jaysh al-Islam’s evacuation of Douma hit a snag and was apparently suspended on Thursday for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. Since the group never formally/officially accepted a deal to surrender and be relocated it’s possible that there are internal disagreements that are affecting the evacuation and/or that all the Jaysh al-Islam fighters who were… Continue reading Middle East update: April 5 2018

World update, August 29 2017

I’m going to be out this evening so you’ll have to make do with a compressed afternoon news update today. MIDDLE EAST IRAQ Iraqi forces are clearing out Tal Afar while also pressing their advance against the remaining ISIS forces in the nearby town of Ayadiyah. It’s still too early to say what kind of… Continue reading World update, August 29 2017

Middle East update: August 1 2017

You may have noticed that I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. While I’m absolutely not going to try to catch you up on everything that’s happened while I’ve been away, I will be interspersing the usual daily news with a few stories that developed over that time. IRAQ Combat operations in western Mosul… Continue reading Middle East update: August 1 2017

Middle East update: July 3 2017

SYRIA The Syrian army on Monday declared a ceasefire in the country’s three southernmost provinces–Daraa, Quneitra, and Suwayda–through July 6. The ceasefire is intended to support the next round of peace talks in Kazakhstan, which are scheduled to begin next week but may be light on rebel participation on account of heavy recent government bombardments,… Continue reading Middle East update: July 3 2017

Middle East update: June 28-29 2017

SAUDI ARABIA Let’s check in on former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in his definitely totally voluntary and in no way forced retirement. I’m sure he’s having a fantastic time: The recently deposed crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef, has been barred from leaving the kingdom and confined to his palace in… Continue reading Middle East update: June 28-29 2017

Middle East update: June 22 2017

SYRIA With my focus heavily on the Saudi story yesterday, I feel like I gave short shrift to this Washington Post piece on the Trump administration’s thinking with respect to the next (post-Raqqa) phase of its Syria operations. It’s not that the piece breaks much new ground in terms of what’s happening in Syria–it’s been obvious… Continue reading Middle East update: June 22 2017

Conflict update: March 23 2017

UNITED KINGDOM The man who killed four people yesterday, when he plowed into dozens of people on London’s Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer and attempting to get into parliament, has been identified as 52 year old British citizen Khalid Masood. He was apparently known to British security services, who interviewed him several years… Continue reading Conflict update: March 23 2017