Asia/Africa update: June 1 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN An audio recording has surfaced that appears to include Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev lambasting his deputy prime minister, Rustam Azimov, who may or may not have been present. This seems to be another sign that Azimov, who was expected to be part of a ruling triumvirate with Mirziyoyev and Uzbek intelligence chief Rustam Inoyatov after… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: June 1 2017

Asia/Africa update: May 26 2017

PHILIPPINES Fighting between government forces and ISIS-aligned Islamist militants is ongoing in the southern city of Marawi, with yesterday’s government artillery barrages and airstrikes apparently having done little to dislodge the insurgents. Philippine officials say that Abu Sayyaf boss Isnilon Hapilon, whose arrest they were seeking in the raid that started this whole situation earlier… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: May 26 2017

Asia/Africa update: May 19-21 2017

AFGHANISTAN Afghanistan’s vice president, Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, is no longer in Afghanistan. He flew to Turkey on Friday, ostensibly for medical treatment. Now, Dostum probably does need medical treatment. He claims to be diabetic and is rumored to hit the bottle on the regular, so chances are he’s not well. But it’s likely… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: May 19-21 2017

Asia/Africa update, May 12-15 2017

AZERBAIJAN The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Monday that it destroyed an Armenian air-defense system, plus crew, in its breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. Separatist sources reported that the system was damaged but that there were no casualties, and then seemed to suggest there would be a reprisal of some sort. AFGHANISTAN China held its big Belt… Continue reading Asia/Africa update, May 12-15 2017

Asia/Africa update: May 8-11 2017

I’m doing tonight’s mega-update in multiple parts. This one deals with news from the parts of Asia and Africa that aren’t in the Middle East. SOUTH KOREA South Korea has a new president: as expected, it’s Moon Jae-in. So…what the hell does this mean? Perhaps you’ve noticed that things around the Korean peninsula have been… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: May 8-11 2017

Conflict update: May 3 2017

WELL, AT LEAST HE’S BEING HONEST Rex Tillerson gave a talk at the State Department today and I think he might have said the quiet parts loud: “I think it is really important that all of us understand the difference between policy and values,” the secretary of state, a former oil executive, said as part… Continue reading Conflict update: May 3 2017

Conflict update: May 2 2017

AFGHANISTAN UPDATE/BREAKING: Right after I hit post on this, as often happens, I saw this Reuters report that a “large explosion” had reportedly occurred in central Kabul, near the American embassy. Al Jazeera is reporting that it was a suicide attack and that there are “several” casualties. Earlier, a suspected Taliban attack in Faryab province late on Monday reportedly killed five… Continue reading Conflict update: May 2 2017