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

Middle East update: February 21 2018

SYRIA DEVELOPING: An AP story hit after I posted that’s worth a mention. Sweden and Kuwait are calling for a Thursday vote in the UN Security Council on a resolution that would impose a 30 day humanitarian ceasefire throughout Syria. Russia has reportedly been arguing against it, saying (and this isn’t wrong) that the UN has… Continue reading Middle East update: February 21 2018

Middle East update: January 3 2018

SYRIA Russian media is reporting that at least seven Russian aircraft were destroyed on December 31 by rebel shelling at Khmeimim airbase, just south of Latakia. If true, it’s Russia’s biggest loss of materiel in one incident in their 2+ year long Syrian intervention. It also suggests some rebel movement in northwestern Syria that’s gone otherwise… Continue reading Middle East update: January 3 2018

Middle East update: January 1-2 2018

We’re going to ease back into things after the long holiday break. As usual when I take an extended break I’m not going to even attempt to run down everything that happened while I was gone. We’ll cover what’s happened the past couple of days with a few scattered looks at things that happened prior… Continue reading Middle East update: January 1-2 2018

Conflict update: April 15-17 2017

Happy Easter again to everyone who celebrated, and Pesach Sameach to those observing Passover, which ends tomorrow. And if any Egyptians happen to be reading this, happy Sham el-Nisim. TURKEY The weekend’s biggest story was, as expected, Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan I’s formal coronation. By a slim margin, also as expected, Turkish voters on Sunday approved… Continue reading Conflict update: April 15-17 2017

Conflict update: April 10-14 2017

First off all, apologies for not doing one of these earlier this week. I had intended to crank something out on Wednesday but, well, when Wednesday rolled around I didn’t want to anymore. Second, Easter and Passover greetings to my Christian and Jewish readers. This is one of the rare years when the Orthodox and… Continue reading Conflict update: April 10-14 2017

Conflict update: March 2-5 2017

GOVERNMENT OF THE MARKS There’s long been this narrative on the right that America spends vast sums of money helping feed and clothe the poor around the world while our own people/military/deficit starve/wastes away/balloons. This is, of course, a giant pile of bullshit, maybe the most bullshit of all the bullshit stories the right has… Continue reading Conflict update: March 2-5 2017