Middle East update: July 9 2018

SYRIA Syrian military forces have reportedly surrounded and besieged rebel-held parts of Daraa city. These rebels have presumably rejected the ceasefire deals that rebels in other parts of Daraa province have struck. Syrian forces are also pressuring Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid, a hardline group with links to ISIS that controls some territory in Daraa province.… Continue reading Middle East update: July 9 2018

Middle East update: April 24-25 2018

SYRIA On Wednesday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigative team in Syria visited a second site in Douma that was allegedly struck by chemical weapons on April 7. Meanwhile, the US, France, and Britain may employ a little-used Cold War-era United Nations mechanism to reestablish a full investigation into chemical weapons use… Continue reading Middle East update: April 24-25 2018

Middle East update: February 14 2018

SYRIA One addendum to yesterday’s update. When I cited the New York Times on estimates of Russian casualties in last week’s US airstrikes in Deir Ezzor, I somehow let this gem of a sentence slide past me: The attack occurred in the vicinity of Deir al-Zour, a strategic, oil-rich territory that is coveted by the Syrians.… Continue reading Middle East update: February 14 2018

Middle East update: December 20 2017

SYRIA Overnight airstrikes killed 19 civilians in the rebel-held Idlib village of Maar Shureen, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Russia denied involvement, which means it was likely the Syrian air force that carried out the attack. Witnesses allege that this was a double-tap strike, with a second bombing following shortly after the first… Continue reading Middle East update: December 20 2017

Middle East update: December 9-10 2017

IRAQ The Iraqi government on Saturday declared that its war with ISIS is over. On Sunday, it even held a big happy victory parade through downtown Baghdad. Before you get too excited, what this apparently signifies is that Baghdad has taken control over its side of the Iraq-Syrian border from ISIS. So territorially the group… Continue reading Middle East update: December 9-10 2017

Middle East update: September 6 2017

SYRIA At least one international investigation into the April 4 Khan Shaykhun chemical weapons attack has concluded that the Syrian government was responsible for the incident. The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in a report released Wednesday that the incident was one of 27 times they’ve concluded that Bashar al-Assad’s forces have… Continue reading Middle East update: September 6 2017

Middle East update: August 17-18 2017

I’m posting this early because we’re supposed to get a major thunderstorm tonight and our electricity tends to go out during those. I may update later if something warrants it. I’ll try to post a world update later if nature and the electrical grid allow it. IRAQ Reuters has published another story on the imminent… Continue reading Middle East update: August 17-18 2017