Middle East update: July 6 2018

SYRIA While there may be some mopping up to be done, Daraa province is now back in Bashar al-Assad’s hands. Rebels there agreed on Friday to surrender their medium and heavy weapons and to either give up fighting or be relocated to Idlib province. As a result, the Syrian government regained control over its important… Continue reading Middle East update: July 6 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

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

Middle East update: June 14 2018

MIDDLE EAST During its rise as a global power, China’s approach to the Middle East has been in many ways the polar opposite of America’s. Beijing works with pretty much everybody, stays out of conflicts, doesn’t get on anyone for human rights issues, etc. It doesn’t take sides, therefore it doesn’t get bogged down in… Continue reading Middle East update: June 14 2018

Middle East update: June 8 2018

SYRIA Airstrikes on the village of Zardana, in Idlib province, on Thursday reportedly killed at least 44 people. Syrian rebel media sources are accusing Russia of carrying out the strikes, but Moscow is denying it. It seems like it would be odd for the Russians (or the Syrian government, for that matter) to attack a target… Continue reading Middle East update: June 8 2018

Middle East update: May 26-27 2018

SYRIA A group of ISIS fighters attacked a Syrian military position in Deir Ezzor province overnight and, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, killed 35 pro-government troops including nine Russian soldiers–not contractors, but actually active duty soldiers. Russia’s defense ministry has acknowledged four Russian deaths in the attack, which it says also left… Continue reading Middle East update: May 26-27 2018

Middle East update: May 9 2018

SYRIA This is very much a developing story, but the Israeli military says that Iranian forces in Syria launched some 20 rockets at Israeli positions in the Golan Heights on Wednesday night. There have been no reports of casualties (the Israelis say that their Iron Dome system intercepted several of the rockets) but this does… Continue reading Middle East update: May 9 2018