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

Middle East update: July 7-8 2018

SYRIA According to Syrian state media, Israeli planes fired missiles at the T4 airbase outside of Homs on Sunday night. That base is used by Iranian personnel and the Israelis have attacked it previously. The Syrian reports say that their air defenses “thwarted” the attack, shooting down several Israeli missiles and hiting one Israeli aircraft,… Continue reading Middle East update: July 7-8 2018

Middle East update: June 23-24 2018

I’m going to be away for most of the next two weeks so these will be our last major updates until July 5. SYRIA Israel on Sunday launched a Patriot missile at a Syrian drone it says was about to cross into Israeli airspace. The missile missed and the drone apparently turned back on its… Continue reading Middle East update: June 23-24 2018

Middle East update: June 21 2018

SYRIA Syrian artillery struck more targets in the rebel-held southwest on Thursday, and it seems as though Bashar al-Assad has finally committed to that area as his next target. Thousands of civilians have reportedly begun fleeing parts of Daraa province in anticipating of a government offensive there. The Syrian military appears to be focusing its… Continue reading Middle East update: June 21 2018

Middle East update: June 16-18 2018

SYRIA Syrian and Iraqi paramilitary groups say that the US-led coalition attacked them late Sunday night. The groups say that drones, which they believe to belong to the US, struck a Syrian military base near the border town of al-Harra, southeast of al-Bukamal, at around 10 PM. The Iraqis claim the attack killed 22 of… Continue reading Middle East update: June 16-18 2018

Middle East update: June 15 2018

Eid Mubarak! ARMS SALES This isn’t strictly about the Middle East, but since it probably affects this region more than any other I thought you might be interested in new work at Cato that attempts to create an objective assessment of the impact of US weapons sales: In a recent study for the Cato Institute,… Continue reading Middle East update: June 15 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