ASIA AFGHANISTAN A horrifying week in Afghanistan got a little worse over the weekend in two separate incidents. On Satuday, … Continue reading World update: October 21-22 2017
EUROPE RUSSIA Russian socialite Ksenia Sobchak, daughter of former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak and possibly Vladimir Putin’s goddaughter, announced that she’s … Continue reading Europe/Americas update: October 17-18 2017
MIDDLE EAST IRAQ This is obviously the day’s big story. Last night’s Iraqi advance into Kirkuk province appears in the … Continue reading World update: October 16 2017
UNITED KINGDOM Saturday night’s terrorist attack in London killed at least seven people, and with 21 people reportedly in critical … Continue reading Europe/Americas update: June 3-4 2017
NATO Two major NATO exercises took place in Eastern Europe today, the annual BALTOPS naval exercise in the Baltics and … Continue reading Europe/Americas update: June 1, 2017
I haven’t been able to read much more about the Vault 7 CIA hacking data dump today, and at any rate I readily admit that cybersecurity is out of my purview, but I think Herb Lin makes a good point here in arguing that from the CIA’s perspective, the damage wrought by this leak–at least based on what’s been made available so far–is probably limited. The big revelation concerns these CIA exploits of the operating systems for mobile devices, smart TV’s, etc., and the vulnerabilities in those systems would likely have been discovered and patched eventually–unless Apple, Samsung, et al are incompetent and/or leaving known vulnerabilities unpatched for some reason.
At least 26 people were killed today when two apparent suicide bombers struck a wedding party in a village outside of Tikrit.
Inside Mosul, Iraqi forces holding on to the city’s main government building complex appear to have withstood yesterday’s ISIS counterattack and consolidated their gains. Iraqi and American commanders are talking in terms that suggest the battle is already over, with coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian, for example, saying yesterday that “the Iraqi security forces are moving very rapidly right now. The enemy is not able to stop their advances.” This seems to be a fair assessment. While there is hard fighting ahead and there will be periodic setbacks like yesterday’s counterattack, west Mosul is fully surrounded and there’s little ISIS can do over the long haul to prevent the Iraqi-coalition forces from grinding down their defenses. Indeed, this has been the case since the Mosul operation began, which explains why Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reportedly hightailed it out of Mosul before the action started.
Musings on Iraq’s Patrick Wing continues to follow the twists and turns of Ninewa province’s post-ISIS political future:
A parliamentary (MP) told New Sabah that the Arab parties were opposed to former Governor Atheel Nujafi and current Vice President Osama Nujafi’s plans to make the province a federal region. The MP went on to say that the Nujafis were working with the Kurds to fragment Ninewa. These arguments will only increase as more time passes as there are a plethora of forces vying to control Ninewa ranging from the Nujafis to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to Prime Minister Haidar Abadi to the standing provincial government to Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to Turkey itself to the various minority groups that reside there.
If you’re looking to handicap the next round of Geneva peace talks, now scheduled for March 23, consider that the Syrian government and/or its Russian allies apparently still can’t manage to stick to a ceasefire for a full 24 hours: Continue reading “Conflict update: March 8 2017”
Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
September 28 is actually the anniversary of a couple of notable dates in Middle East history.… Continue reading Today in Mediterranean history: the Battle of Preveza (1538)