Middle East update: July 12 2018

SYRIA The Syrian military seized the city of Daraa on Thursday, symbolically flying the Syrian flag in the middle of town in commemoration. Daraa is an important tactical victory–you can’t control southwestern Syria without it, obviously. But it may be an even bigger symbolic victory, because it was in Daraa in the spring of 2011… Continue reading Middle East update: July 12 2018

Asia/Africa update: July 9 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise stopover in Afghanistan on Monday on his way back from North Korea. He gushed about the success of the US operation there even as he had to fly in and out in a matter of a few hours under extremely heavy security and without making… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: July 9 2018

Middle East update: July 5 2018

Well, we’re back. As usual when I’ve been gone for a while this update will mostly stick to things that happened today with some pieces I flagged while I was gone in there for good measure. It will probably be long and there’s not much I can do about that. SYRIA Owing to a combination… Continue reading Middle East update: July 5 2018

World update: June 22 2018

MIDDLE EAST SYRIA ISIS’s Amaq news agency is claiming that ISIS carried out an attack against Syrian Democratic Forces personnel in Raqqa on Thursday, which if true would be the group’s first attack in the city since leaving it last October. So far I’ve seen no independent confirmation of anything like this having happened. Meanwhile,… Continue reading World update: June 22 2018

Middle East update: June 20 2018

SYRIA The escalation in government bombardments in southwestern Syria reportedly has the Jordanian government concerned. Amman would desperately like to see its main border crossing with Syria reopened to facilitate commercial traffic, but it wants a peaceful solution to the situation to avoid either a new influx of displaced Syrians heading for the Jordanian border… Continue reading Middle East update: June 20 2018

World update: June 19 2018

We’re a little early today because in addition to being Juneteenth we also have a family birthday to celebrate. I’ll catch you all up tomorrow. ASIA AFGHANISTAN Taliban fighters killed at least four people in a Tuesday morning attack on police and military checkpoints in Kunduz province. In case you weren’t sure if the ceasefire… Continue reading World update: June 19 2018

World update: June 15 2018

Eid Mubarak! ASIA UZBEKISTAN Maybe Uzbekistan isn’t at the top of your world tourism list. I get that. Parts of the country are supposed to be amazing, like Samarkand. On the other hand, their last president had that whole “boiling people to death” thing happening. But if the change in leadership hasn’t convinced you to… Continue reading World update: June 15 2018