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

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Middle East update: October 30 2017

IRAQ Masoud Barzani's supporters didn't take the news of his kind-of-resignation very well: Barzani’s statements incited his followers in Irbil, Zakho and Dohuk to attack opposition politicians, storm the parliament building, and go after the media and political offices. First, parliamentarian Rabum Maruf of Change was attacked while he was giving a speech to reporters … Continue reading Middle East update: October 30 2017

Middle East update: October 28-29 2017

IRAQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya1GWB2AMnY You don't have Barzani to kick around anymore (sort of): The president of Iraq’s self-ruled northern Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani, dissolved his powers as president Sunday, distributing them between the Kurdish prime minister, Parliament and the judiciary, a Kurdish official told The Associated Press.   Barzani also informed parliament that he will not seek … Continue reading Middle East update: October 28-29 2017

How much of Iraq does the Iraqi government actually control at this point?

Seriously, I don't know anymore. I'm not talking about the parts of Iraq that are controlled by ISIS--obviously Baghdad has no real control over them at this point, but presumably (hopefully) that's temporary. But of the rest of the country, the parts that aren't controlled by ISIS, and in terms of the normal everyday things … Continue reading How much of Iraq does the Iraqi government actually control at this point?