Middle East update: October 23 2017

SYRIA During the 20 days it controlled the town of Qaryatayn in Homs province this month, ISIS reportedly executed at least 116 people (in the past hour I’ve started seeing reports that it was 128, but not from anywhere credible enough to confidently relay it) it suspected of collaborating with the Syrian government. Rami Abdel Rahman,… Continue reading Middle East update: October 23 2017

Middle East update: October 20 2017

IRAQ Iraqi forces took the last Kurdish-held district in Kirkuk province on Friday, following–and here’s where it gets bad–a three hour battle with Kurdish peshmerga. That’s the first fighting between the Iraqis and the Kurds since those skirmishes that took place during the Iraqis’ initial move into Kirkuk, and reports suggest that it’s been much… Continue reading Middle East update: October 20 2017

Middle East update: October 2 2017

IRAQ The Hawijah operation proceeded on Monday with the Iraqis capturing the Rashad air base, about 20 miles south of the town, from ISIS. Rashad is in a fairly strategic position for deploying helicopters to Hawijah and in cleanup operations around northern Iraq, so this is a positive development. Over the weekend, ISIS apparently set… Continue reading Middle East update: October 2 2017

World update: September 30-October 1 2017

SPAIN Let’s talk about nationalism for a minute. Nationalism sucks. It’s tribalistic, inherently discriminatory, often violent, exclusionary, and antithetical to values like liberty, egalitarianism, peace, and harmony. Nationalist parties are among the most loathsome political parties in the world: the National Front in France, Britain’s UKIP and the Tory right, Alternative for Germany, Turkey’s MTP,… Continue reading World update: September 30-October 1 2017

Middle East update: September 9-10 2017

IRAQ Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, told the BBC on Sunday that he wants to work with the Iraqi government to redraw the borders of Kurdistan but will do so unilaterally if Baghdad won’t cooperate. It still seems the KRG is unlikely to go ahead and declare independence immediately following the… Continue reading Middle East update: September 9-10 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 9

Tonight’s roundup is going to be short and to the point (and a little earlier than usual), my apologies. Iraq The Iraqi military says that it captured another neighborhood in eastern Mosul today, in the process destroying (via airstrike) three facilities where ISIS has been manufacturing car bombs. In Baghdad, meanwhile, multiple bombing attacks today… Continue reading Conflict update: December 9