Middle East update: March 30-31 2019

Please don’t forget that tomorrow I’m moving to Substack! I’ll be posting both here and there next week, but after that this site is going to go dark. Head to Substack and sign up today so you won’t miss anything! SYRIA The Kurdish YPG militia attacked a Turkish military position in Afrin with mortars on Sunday,… Continue reading Middle East update: March 30-31 2019

Middle East update: March 11 2019

SYRIA Reuters says that ISIS is getting “pounded” in Baghouz, which is not nearly as hot as it sounds. The Syrian Democratic Forces militia earlier on Monday said it was advancing slowly into the town due to mines and other traps laid by ISIS along with the danger posed by ISIS snipers. I’m not sure… Continue reading Middle East update: March 11 2019

Middle East update: February 22 2019

SYRIA The Syrian Democratic Forces on Friday completed another evacuation of civilians from Baghouz. Some 30 trucks carried mostly women and children out of the town, the second such caravan this week. The SDF says it’s hoping to completely empty the town of civilians by Saturday, at which point the ISIS fighters remaining inside may decide… Continue reading Middle East update: February 22 2019

Middle East update: February 21 2019

SYRIA There were several bombings across northern Syria on Thursday, likely perpetrated by at least a couple of different parties. At least two civilians were killed in a car bombing in Afrin and four Turkish proxy fighters in a bombing in Jarabulus. It wouldn’t be a big stretch to suggest the YPG was responsible for… Continue reading Middle East update: February 21 2019

Middle East update: February 12 2019

SYRIA A car bomb hit a checkpoint near the Turkish border outside the town of al-Rai on Tuesday. Three police officers and four civilians were wounded. That area is controlled by Turkey and its proxies, so there are a number of possible suspects including the YPG, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and of course ISIS. Speaking of… Continue reading Middle East update: February 12 2019

Middle East update: February 4 2019

We’re in the midst of Kumbh Mela, a major Hindu pilgrimage festival that began in mid-January and runs through early March. With apologies for not saying so earlier, best wishes to any Hindu readers who are celebrating. SYRIA The Syrian government is reportedly evacuating people from 10,000 residential buildings in Aleppo due to the possibility… Continue reading Middle East update: February 4 2019

Middle East update: January 31 2019

SYRIA When (if?) it finally pulls US forces out of Syria, the Trump administration reportedly wants a “coalition of Western nations” to establish and maintain a buffer zone in northern Syria to protect the YPG from Turkey. Which would be huge for the YPG and maybe prevent it from having to capitulate to the Syrian… Continue reading Middle East update: January 31 2019