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: May 25 2018

SYRIA Iraqi aircraft carried out another round of airstrikes in Syria on Thursday, striking suspected ISIS targets around the city of Hajin, in Deir Ezzor province. That city, which sits on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, is surrounded by Syrian Democratic Forces ground troops and has also been the target of US-led coalition… Continue reading Middle East update: May 25 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

Middle East update: May 4 2018

SYRIA The State Department announced on Friday that it’s suspending its funding for several civil society groups in Syria, including and most prominently the Syrian civil defense organization known as the “White Helmets”: Less than two months ago the State Department hosted members of the White Helmets at Foggy Bottom. At the time, the humanitarian… Continue reading Middle East update: May 4 2018

Middle East update: April 4 2018

THE ISLAMIC “STATE” A bunch of ISIS-related online outlets have published a statement in which the group’s fighters “renew” their loyalty pledges to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: “To infuriate and terrorise the infidels, we renew our pledge of loyalty to the commander of the faithful and the caliph of the Muslims, the mujahid sheikh Abu Bakr… Continue reading Middle East update: April 4 2018

Middle East update: March 13 2018

SYRIA The promised medical evacuation of Eastern Ghouta took place on Tuesday, with Jaysh al-Islam allowing the wounded, the elderly, new mothers, and others on a United Nations list of people in critical need of medical care to leave Douma. The evacuation is supposed to take place in “batches” with potentially hundreds of people being… Continue reading Middle East update: March 13 2018

Middle East update: March 12 2018

SYRIA As the fighting in Eastern Ghouta continues, the situation in the city of Douma in particular seems to be reaching an even more critical level. People displaced by the fighting elsewhere in the enclave have fled to Douma for safety, but now they’re cramped in a city that’s being constantly bombarded and is surrounded… Continue reading Middle East update: March 12 2018