Conflict update: December 26 2016

Israel The fallout from Friday’s UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s illegal annexation of occupied Palestinian territory continued all weekend. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government began by summoning the ambassadors of the 12 security council members who voted in favor of the resolution and with which Israel has relations (Venezuela and Malaysia also voted yes but don’t… Continue reading Conflict update: December 26 2016

Conflict update, December 8

Syria According to Russia, the Syrian army has halted offensive actions in Aleppo and is focusing on evacuating civilians. Which may come as news to the rebels, who continue to report that the fighting is ongoing. The army has captured Aleppo’s Old City and rejected a rebel call for a five day ceasefire to allow… Continue reading Conflict update, December 8

Conflict update, December 6

Lots of human rights and humanitarian news today and, surprise, none of it good. Iraq Human Rights Watch–which I know has its issues, but still–issued a report on Sunday on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s economic blockade of Sinjar, which is being used as a base by the KRG’s rival, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The… Continue reading Conflict update, December 6

The Fallujah operation is reportedly going sideways

The operation to liberate Fallujah has reportedly hit a wall, and control over it appears to have slipped entirely from Baghdad’s grasp. The Iraqi special forces that have been tasked with leading the advance into the city say that they’re being stymied not by ISIS’s resistance but by an inability to coordinate their operation with… Continue reading The Fallujah operation is reportedly going sideways

Ramadi and its aftermaths

Although there may still be some pockets of ISIS resistance that need to be cleared out, it appears that the Iraqi army has retaken the city of Ramadi. It will take some time to fully secure the surrounding countryside and to clear the city of any IEDs the retreating ISIS fighters may have left behind,… Continue reading Ramadi and its aftermaths

I wonder if he got a gold watch?

The Iraqi Army’s (now former) Chief of Staff, General Babaker Zebari, retired yesterday. Or, rather, he “was retired,” which is the phrasing that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s spokesman somewhat hilariously used when talking to AFP. I guess in Iraq you can’t even give a guy the dignity of pretending to have quit of his… Continue reading I wonder if he got a gold watch?