Middle East update: July 9 2018

SYRIA Syrian military forces have reportedly surrounded and besieged rebel-held parts of Daraa city. These rebels have presumably rejected the ceasefire deals that rebels in other parts of Daraa province have struck. Syrian forces are also pressuring Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid, a hardline group with links to ISIS that controls some territory in Daraa province.… Continue reading Middle East update: July 9 2018

Middle East update: July 6 2018

SYRIA While there may be some mopping up to be done, Daraa province is now back in Bashar al-Assad’s hands. Rebels there agreed on Friday to surrender their medium and heavy weapons and to either give up fighting or be relocated to Idlib province. As a result, the Syrian government regained control over its important… Continue reading Middle East update: July 6 2018

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

Turkey election update: June 24 2018

I’m tracking Turkish election results as they come in. Please check back for updates, which I’ll add at the top of the post. UPDATE 7: With Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency reporting almost 96 percent of the vote in, Erdoğan sits at just under 53 percent. He’s already declared victory, though the opposition is casting doubt on… Continue reading Turkey election update: June 24 2018

Middle East update: June 20 2018

SYRIA The escalation in government bombardments in southwestern Syria reportedly has the Jordanian government concerned. Amman would desperately like to see its main border crossing with Syria reopened to facilitate commercial traffic, but it wants a peaceful solution to the situation to avoid either a new influx of displaced Syrians heading for the Jordanian border… Continue reading Middle East update: June 20 2018

Middle East update: June 16-18 2018

SYRIA Syrian and Iraqi paramilitary groups say that the US-led coalition attacked them late Sunday night. The groups say that drones, which they believe to belong to the US, struck a Syrian military base near the border town of al-Harra, southeast of al-Bukamal, at around 10 PM. The Iraqis claim the attack killed 22 of… Continue reading Middle East update: June 16-18 2018

Middle East update: June 14 2018

MIDDLE EAST During its rise as a global power, China’s approach to the Middle East has been in many ways the polar opposite of America’s. Beijing works with pretty much everybody, stays out of conflicts, doesn’t get on anyone for human rights issues, etc. It doesn’t take sides, therefore it doesn’t get bogged down in… Continue reading Middle East update: June 14 2018