ASIA AFGHANISTAN Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada reportedly sent negotiators to Islamabad on Monday to meet with representatives of Afghan politician Pir Syed Hamid Gilani about the possibility of restarting peace talks with Kabul. The Afghan government does not appear to have sanctioned the meeting and there’s no indication anything came of it. MYANMAR Police in Rakhine state… Continue reading World update: January 17 2018
ASIA AFGHANISTAN US airstrikes in Kunduz province on Saturday reportedly killed “scores” of Afghan civilians: The airstrikes in Kunduz on Friday night targeted three villages in Chardara, a district west of the provincial capital where Taliban fighters have long maintained a strong presence. Afghan security forces prevented access to the bomb sites in Essa… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: November 4-5 2017
Iraq Here’s one terrifying side-effect of the Mosul campaign that, to be honest, I hadn’t really thought much about: With the launch of the second phase of the Mosul operations Dec. 29, tens of bodies of killed Islamic State (IS) fighters were strewn across the streets in the neighborhoods of al-Salam, al-Intisar, al-Wihda, Palestine and… Continue reading Conflict update: January 6 2017
The answer? It depends! Something weird is happening to the ISIS affiliate that’s even more destructive than the parent company, Boko Haram (or, as it official calls itself, The Islamic State’s West Africa Province). A couple of days ago, said parent company announced that its Boko Haram operations were being taken over by a new… Continue reading Who’s running Boko Haram these days?
Don’t look now, but oil prices are starting to rise again. After bottoming out around $26/barrel in late-January, they’ve come back up into the $50/barrel neighborhood in recent days. There are several reasons, but they all come back to basic economics: supply is down and demand is up. The latter is relatively simple: cheap oil… Continue reading Oil price ping-pong