This has to be short again tonight. I’ve had very little time to spare today. Syria Roughly 3000 people were evacuated from eastern Aleppo today, the first full day that the ceasefire/evacuation deal between the rebels and the Syrian government was in place. That’s barely a fraction of the 50,000 people estimated to still be inside… Continue reading Conflict update: December 15, 2016
Lots to cover today, unfortunately. Syria Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, told the UN Security Council today that the Syrian government is now fully in control of Aleppo and that military operations in the city have stopped. Now, this is the second or third, or tenth or whatever, time that the Russians have said the… Continue reading Conflict update: December 13, 2016
Egypt A major bomb (12 kg of TNT) hit St. Mark’s Cathedral (see the photo above) in Cairo this morning, killing at least 25 people, wounding at least 49, and from the photos I’ve seen absolutely pulverizing the interior of the church. No group has claimed responsibility yet as far as I can tell, but… Continue reading Conflict update: December 11
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
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
Iraqi forces capture an airbase near Mosul, and Washington announces the deployment of more US troops to Iraq.
Fallujah officially belongs to Iraq again, per the Pentagon: Iraqi security forces have “100 percent control” of Fallujah, located 40 miles west of Baghdad, Pentagon officials said. Fallujah was the first city taken over by ISIS in January 2014. “I congratulate Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and the Iraqi people for their progress in freeing the… Continue reading Liberating Fallujah, or whatever’s left of it