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: July 5 2018

Well, we’re back. As usual when I’ve been gone for a while this update will mostly stick to things that happened today with some pieces I flagged while I was gone in there for good measure. It will probably be long and there’s not much I can do about that. SYRIA Owing to a combination… Continue reading Middle East update: July 5 2018

Middle East update: December 18 2017

IRAQ The Kurdistan Regional Government says that Baghdad is building up forces southwest of Erbil in preparation for a renewed military offensive against the Kurds. Baghdad denies this claim, but it’s worth noting that the dispute over the Kurdistan independence referendum has never really been resolved, just frozen. Baghdad still wants the referendum’s results “cancelled”… Continue reading Middle East update: December 18 2017

Middle East update: November 8 2017

SYRIA There’s been no official confirmation as I write this, but “pro-government sources” are saying that the Syrian army and its allied militias (including at least one–Kataib Hezbollah–that has crossed into Syria from Iraq) have captured al-Bukamal, the last ISIS position of any significance in eastern Syria and along the Syria-Iraq border. If true, this means… Continue reading Middle East update: November 8 2017

Middle East update: November 4-5 2017

Where to even begin. IRAQ With Qaim under control, the Iraqi plan is to move back east along the Euphrates and take the town of Rawa while simultaneously clearing out the rest of the Syrian border area. The focus for now seems to be back on ISIS, though conflict with the Kurds could flare up… Continue reading Middle East update: November 4-5 2017

Middle East update: October 20 2017

IRAQ Iraqi forces took the last Kurdish-held district in Kirkuk province on Friday, following–and here’s where it gets bad–a three hour battle with Kurdish peshmerga. That’s the first fighting between the Iraqis and the Kurds since those skirmishes that took place during the Iraqis’ initial move into Kirkuk, and reports suggest that it’s been much… Continue reading Middle East update: October 20 2017

Middle East update: October 19 2017

Happy Diwali to those who are celebrating! I confess to knowing little about Hinduism and even less about Diwali, so if somebody wants to educate the rest of the class in the comments please feel free. (As an aside, though there’s usually not much activity in the comments around here, be aware that I have… Continue reading Middle East update: October 19 2017