Europe/Americas update: January 17 2019

EUROPE RUSSIA At LobeLog, Mark Katz wonders if the US withdrawal from Syria is helping push Gulf states toward Russia: Moscow, of course, is very pleased that, because of the potential U.S. withdrawal from Syria and the fear of what Iran may do there afterward, Gulf Arabs are more likely to view the Russian presence… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 17 2019

Middle East update: September 26 2018

SYRIA Officials involved with Turkish-aligned Syrian rebel groups in Idlib claim they’ve seen signs that jihadi groups, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, are preparing to abide by the agreement Turkey and Russia reached to establish a demilitarized zone between rebel and government forces in the province. If true that should mean the agreement will hold, for… Continue reading Middle East update: September 26 2018

Europe/Americas update: July 27 2018

UNITED NATIONS The UN needs to find a payday lender or something because it’s going broke: António Guterres, the UN secretary general, has warned that the organisation is facing an unprecedented shortage of funding for its core budget and will need to make urgent cuts unless member states pay up. The alarm was raised in… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: July 27 2018

Middle East update: June 21 2018

SYRIA Syrian artillery struck more targets in the rebel-held southwest on Thursday, and it seems as though Bashar al-Assad has finally committed to that area as his next target. Thousands of civilians have reportedly begun fleeing parts of Daraa province in anticipating of a government offensive there. The Syrian military appears to be focusing its… Continue reading Middle East update: June 21 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 12 2018

SYRIA The United Nations says that over 900,000 Syrians were displaced in the first four months of 2018. That figure blows past the highest number of displaced persons created in any four month period since the Syrian war–a war that has displaced almost 12 million people both internally and as refugees–began. A possible government offensive… Continue reading Middle East update: June 12 2018

Middle East update: June 7 2018

SYRIA The Iraqis conducted another airstrike against ISIS in Syria on Thursday. This time they struck an alleged ISIS command and control building in the town of Hajin, in Deir Ezzor province. This is at least the second time the Iraqis have bombed Hajin in the past 2-3 weeks. Meanwhile, during his annual Telethon For Motion… Continue reading Middle East update: June 7 2018