Middle East update: May 28 2018

In the interest of the Memorial Day holiday, today’s update(s) may be a little shorter and/or earlier than usual. SYRIA Presumably confirming that a Syrian offensive against Daraa is imminent, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Monday that only Syrian military personnel should occupy that area, which abuts Syria’s disputed border with Israel.… Continue reading Middle East update: May 28 2018

Middle East update: May 26-27 2018

SYRIA A group of ISIS fighters attacked a Syrian military position in Deir Ezzor province overnight and, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, killed 35 pro-government troops including nine Russian soldiers–not contractors, but actually active duty soldiers. Russia’s defense ministry has acknowledged four Russian deaths in the attack, which it says also left… Continue reading Middle East update: May 26-27 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: May 3 2018

SYRIA It was one step forward and one step back in Syria on Thursday. Rebel fighters in the enclave around Yarmouk finally began to evacuate that area (ISIS is still holding out in Yarmouk itself) under the terms of a deal they reached with Damascus and Russia several days ago. However, a group of fighters… Continue reading Middle East update: May 3 2018

World update: May 2 2016

Sorry, we’ve got another relatively brief update today. It’s been a busy day at HQ and your blog host isn’t feeling well to boot. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Rebels controlling an enclave near Homs said on Wednesday that they have reached agreement with Damascus and Russia to evacuate that area, surrender their heavy weapons, and relocate north near… Continue reading World update: May 2 2016

Middle East update: March 21 2018

SYRIA Monitors reported on Wednesday that 20 civilians were killed in an airstrike on the village of Kafr Batikh, in Idlib province. No word as to who carried out the strike. Meanwhile, the death toll from yesterday’s rebel shelling of Damascus has reached 44, and comes amid confirmation that Ahrar al-Sham fighters will begin evacuating the… Continue reading Middle East update: March 21 2018

Middle East update: March 19 2018

SYRIA Monitoring groups and journalists reported on Monday that Turkey’s Syrian proxy forces have been looting Afrin in the aftermath of the YPG’s retreat from that city: Pictures showed soldiers flying a Turkish flag from a building, and rebels tearing down a statue of the Kurdish hero Kawa Haddad.   AFP news agency journalists in… Continue reading Middle East update: March 19 2018