World update: June 1 2018

I’m planning to do something crazy later today and have a nice evening with my family, so we’re shortening things up a bit today. If anything huge happens, please check back later for possible updates. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA According to Rudaw, the YPG is claiming to have attacked two Turkish military bases in Afrin on… Continue reading World update: June 1 2018

Middle East update: May 29 2018

SYRIA An anonymous “pro-Assad commander” in Syria says that the Syrian army is ready to invade Daraa. The United States says it better not. Russia says only the army itself should invade, without its Iran-backed allies. Rebels in the southwest Syrian enclave say they see no sign that the army is preparing to invade and… Continue reading Middle East update: May 29 2018

Middle East update: May 24 2018

SYRIA Both Syrian state media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights are saying that the US-led coalition struck two Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzor province overnight, killing at least 12 pro-government militia fighters. The Pentagon says it has “no information” about any such strikes. State media also says that the Syrian military intercepted a… Continue reading Middle East update: May 24 2018

Middle East update: March 6 2018

SYRIA Implementing the last stage of the Aleppo playbook, Russia on Tuesday offered Syrian rebels still in Eastern Ghouta safe passage out of that besieged area to, well, someplace else. And here’s the rub–while that deal has worked in the past, with the Russians offering safe passage to Idlib province, that offer is no longer… Continue reading Middle East update: March 6 2018

Middle East update: February 26 2018

SYRIA United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres may want the UN Security Council’s new Syrian ceasefire to begin “immediately,” but it looks like he’ll have to content himself with a Russian plan for a partial humanitarian ceasefire instead. Guterres is also throwing his weight behind a French idea for the five veto-holding members of the Security… Continue reading Middle East update: February 26 2018

Middle East update: February 12 2018

SYRIA Reuters is reporting that at least two Russian mercenaries who were fighting in Syria were killed during that US airstrike on Syrian-aligned forces in Deir Ezzor province last week. “Associates” of the two men have reportedly confirmed their deaths. The official Russian line is that no Russians were involved in that incident, and while… Continue reading Middle East update: February 12 2018

Middle East update: January 9 2018

SYRIA Damascus says that Israeli forces struck the Qutaifa area near Damascus from air and ground on Tuesday, presumably because of something to do with Hezbollah although as usual the Israeli government refused to talk about it. Questions about who exactly has been attacking Russia’s military bases in Latakia remain unanswered, and that’s encouraging some creative… Continue reading Middle East update: January 9 2018