Middle East update: October 25 2017

IRAQ The Iraqi military has started dropping leaflets on the western Anbar towns of Qaim and Rawa, and their environs, in what sure seems like the prelude to a resumption of their offensive in that part of the country. The leaflets say, in part, that “your security forces are now coming to liberate you.” The… Continue reading Middle East update: October 25 2017

Middle East update: September 12 2017

SYRIA Having opened up a corridor to relieve the besieged city and its similarly besieged airport, the Syrian army is now massing assets for a push to recapture all of Deir Ezzor city from ISIS. They’re also massing civilian casualties, with “dozens” of people (69, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights) reportedly killed… Continue reading Middle East update: September 12 2017

Conflict update: January 5 2017

World War III Building on an earlier post, this seems problematic: Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on… Continue reading Conflict update: January 5 2017

Conflict update: December 21 2016

Israel-Palestine The UN Security Council will vote tomorrow on a resolution, authored by Egypt, demanding a stop to the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This will not be the first time the Security Council has taken up the issue of Israel’s illegal, slow-rolling annexation of occupied Palestinian territory, and… Continue reading Conflict update: December 21 2016

Conflict update: December 20 2016

Germany The death toll from yesterday’s truck attack in Berlin is now up to 12, and ISIS has claimed responsibility. Their statement used language that the terror group typically uses to describe “inspired”/”lone wolf” attacks for which it later claims credit. To make matters worse, the man who was arrested last night on the belief… Continue reading Conflict update: December 20 2016

Erdoğan’s Authoritarianism and the Deep State

I have a new entry at Lobe Log on Sunday’s municipal elections in Turkey, which handed Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) a fairly substantial victory. AKP obviously remains popular among at least a plurality of the Turkish electorate, in spite of the ongoing corruption investigation swirling around Erdoğan, and the… Continue reading Erdoğan’s Authoritarianism and the Deep State