Middle East update: November 18-19 2017

Reserving the right to pop back up if something major happens, and of course barring some kind of unforeseen problem on the back end, this is going to be our last set of updates until Monday, November 27. Thanksgiving is going to be extra challenging this year for a myriad of family reasons, and so… Continue reading Middle East update: November 18-19 2017

Middle East update: May 23 2017

Obviously the big news today is the aftermath of last night’s terrorist attack in Manchester. I’m trying to break these updates up into more manageable chunks, so you’ll find coverage of that story in another update. IRAQ The latest map from Iraq’s Ninewa Media Center suggests that the Mosul endgame is really upon us: Green… Continue reading Middle East update: May 23 2017

Conflict update: May 1 2017

ISRAEL-PALESTINE A potentially significant development on this front took place today: Hamas has unveiled a new political programme softening its stance on Israel by accepting the idea of a Palestinian state in territories occupied by Israel in the six-day war of 1967. The new document states that the Islamist movement it is not seeking war… Continue reading Conflict update: May 1 2017

Conflict Update: January 23 2017

Iraq Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Iraq has fully retaken eastern Mosul from ISIS. It seems like somebody has made this same announcement every day for the past week, and that’s because somebody has made this same announcement every day for the past week. But you’re dealing with different somebodies who have different… Continue reading Conflict Update: January 23 2017

Conflict update: January 15 2017

Yeah, I know I originally put the wrong date on yesterday’s post. Don’t @ me. Trumpland Donald Trump has told the London Times that he wants to do a deal with Russia to trade sanctions relief for Russia’s agreement to cut nuclear weapons “very substantially.” This might actually be good news, but let’s hold off… Continue reading Conflict update: January 15 2017

Conflict update: January 14 2017

Iraq Iraqi commanders are saying that their forces have seized control of Mosul University from ISIS, a major step toward the full liberation of eastern Mosul. ISIS had been using the university as a base of operations, so now that’s denied to them, and the campus sits in a tactically significant position overlooking a big… Continue reading Conflict update: January 14 2017

Conflict update: January 12 2017

Syria Something fairly significant appears to be happening at the Mezzah military airport, west of Damascus. A short time ago (Friday morning local time) reports began coming out via Twitter, and then via the news services, that the airport had been hit by an Israeli airstrike, but now the story, per the Syrian government, seems… Continue reading Conflict update: January 12 2017