Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Because the Mamluk dynasty wasn’t a “dynasty” in the traditional sense, when the Ottomans toppled it in 1516-1517, there were a lot of important mamluk aristocrats and officials still running around Egypt and Syria who had no particular loyalty to the sultan (Tuman Bey) who had just been overthrown. It was much simpler for the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Middle East update: February 27 2019

SYRIA People are apparently still pouring out of Baghouz to try to escape the eventual Syrian Democratic Forces assault on Syria’s last ISIS-held town. Hundreds reportedly evacuated on Wednesday, including both people who have been held captive by ISIS (including some Yazidis captured back in 2014 in Iraq) and ISIS supporters who either decided to… Continue reading Middle East update: February 27 2019

Middle East update: February 25 2019

SYRIA With thousands of people, mostly civilians but with a few ISIS fighters trying to sneak out of trouble, having fled Baghouz over the past week or so, Syrian Democratic Forces officials have no idea how many people–combatants or otherwise–are left there. They’re guessing around 5000, but they seem to have been underestimating the count… Continue reading Middle East update: February 25 2019

World update: February 20 2019

We’re having a snow day here and the news seems a little slow today anyway (or maybe my brain just isn’t working very well). So today’s update will be a little shorter than usual. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Increasingly it looks like ISIS’s remaining fighters in Baghouz are down to their last few days or even hours. The convoy sent into town by the Syrian Democratic Forces on Tuesday to evacuate the area’s remaining civilian population finally left on Wednesday, with a number… Continue reading World update: February 20 2019

Middle East update: February 19 2019

SYRIA The Syrian Democratic Forces, with US air support, are making what appears to be their final push to take ISIS’s last Syrian enclave. Earlier in the day they sent trucks into the town of Baghouz, intending to evacuate the last remaining civilians there before the final assault. But according to Reuters, at least, those… Continue reading Middle East update: February 19 2019

Middle East update: February 18 2019

SYRIA What appears to have been a double-tap bombing killed at least 15 people in Idlib city on Monday. A car bomb detonated first, followed by a nearby motorcycle bomb a short time later. Several of the casualties were apparently first responders caught in the second blast. There’s been no claim of responsibility, but the… Continue reading Middle East update: February 18 2019

Middle East update: February 16-17 2019

SYRIA DEVELOPING, MAYBE: The New Arab is reporting that the SDF has made a deal with the remaining ISIS fighters in Baghouz that calls for a five day truce and the relocation of those fighters to “an area in the Syrian desert.” The SDF has also agreed to allow food shipments into the town in return for ISIS… Continue reading Middle East update: February 16-17 2019