Middle East update: July 5 2018

Well, we’re back. As usual when I’ve been gone for a while this update will mostly stick to things that happened today with some pieces I flagged while I was gone in there for good measure. It will probably be long and there’s not much I can do about that. SYRIA Owing to a combination… Continue reading Middle East update: July 5 2018

Middle East update: June 15 2018

Eid Mubarak! ARMS SALES This isn’t strictly about the Middle East, but since it probably affects this region more than any other I thought you might be interested in new work at Cato that attempts to create an objective assessment of the impact of US weapons sales: In a recent study for the Cato Institute,… Continue reading Middle East update: June 15 2018

Middle East update: June 13 2018

SYRIA The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reported on Wednesday that both sarin and chlorine gases were used in attacks around the village of Ltamenah in Hama province last March. The OPCW’s findings only pertain to the use of chemical weapons and do not by rule identify the perpetrator or perpetrators. Southwestern Syria still… Continue reading Middle East update: June 13 2018

Middle East update: June 9-10 2018

SYRIA According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian rebels launched new attacks overnight on the predominantly Shiʿa Idlib province towns of Fuʿah and Kefraya, but were driven back. Rebels have been besieging both towns for over three years. The Syrian Democratic Council, which is the political wing of the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces organization, says… Continue reading Middle East update: June 9-10 2018

Middle East update: May 26-27 2018

SYRIA A group of ISIS fighters attacked a Syrian military position in Deir Ezzor province overnight and, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, killed 35 pro-government troops including nine Russian soldiers–not contractors, but actually active duty soldiers. Russia’s defense ministry has acknowledged four Russian deaths in the attack, which it says also left… Continue reading Middle East update: May 26-27 2018

Middle East update: May 3 2018

SYRIA It was one step forward and one step back in Syria on Thursday. Rebel fighters in the enclave around Yarmouk finally began to evacuate that area (ISIS is still holding out in Yarmouk itself) under the terms of a deal they reached with Damascus and Russia several days ago. However, a group of fighters… Continue reading Middle East update: May 3 2018

Middle East update: May 1 2018

SYRIA Militant fighters in the Yarmouk area began evacuating on Tuesday under what amounts to a hostage swap negotiated between the rebels in Idlib and the Syrian government. The rebels, or more specifically Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, have begun releasing civilians they seized three years ago when they captured Idlib province in return for safe passage… Continue reading Middle East update: May 1 2018