Middle East update: December 13 2017

IRAQ Regular readers will know what a big fan I am of Patrick Wing’s “Musings on Iraq” blog, which does invaluable work digesting Iraqi media for English-speaking audiences. Wing today is arguing that the Iraqis fudged the completion of their Jazeera operation, the effort to sweep the western Anbar desert for remaining ISIS members, to… Continue reading Middle East update: December 13 2017

Middle East update: December 7 2017

YEMEN Saudi-aligned Yemeni fighters captured Khoukha, a coastal region around 220 miles southwest of Sanaa, from the Houthis on Thursday. Khoukha is not that far south of Hudaydah, if you’re wondering how the Saudis might be planning to make Yemen even more of a hellscape than it already is. If they attack Yemen, all those people… Continue reading Middle East update: December 7 2017

Middle East update: November 29 2017

CLIMATE CHANGE While it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that climate change is expected to (already has, really) hit the Middle East and North Africa quite hard, it’s still helpful to see just how dire the projections are: MENA is the world’s most water-scarce region. While about five percent of the world’s population lives… Continue reading Middle East update: November 29 2017

Middle East update: November 4-5 2017

Where to even begin. IRAQ With Qaim under control, the Iraqi plan is to move back east along the Euphrates and take the town of Rawa while simultaneously clearing out the rest of the Syrian border area. The focus for now seems to be back on ISIS, though conflict with the Kurds could flare up… Continue reading Middle East update: November 4-5 2017

Yemen: the ceasefire that wasn’t, but progress at peace talks

Last week’s Yemen peace talks in Switzerland have ended without making much progress, in part due to the fact that the ceasefire that was to accompany those talks never actually took hold. Saudi-Yemeni government forces today advanced closer to Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, than they’ve been since the Houthis captured the city last fall, in spite… Continue reading Yemen: the ceasefire that wasn’t, but progress at peace talks

Yemen, where they can’t even agree on which city is the capital anymore

Welcome back to Yemen! Since the last time we were here, previously former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has decided to drop the “former” from that description. First, on February 21, he escaped his confinement by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in Sanaa and fled to the major southern port city of Aden, then a couple… Continue reading Yemen, where they can’t even agree on which city is the capital anymore

Yemen seems a little more chaotic than usual today

Now this is how you do a political catastrophe. Yemen’s entire cabinet apparently tendered its resignation to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi earlier today, followed quickly by Hadi himself tendering his resignation to parliament. Hadi cited the deteriorating political situation in the capital, Sanaa, where Houthi rebels have refused to back down despite the fact… Continue reading Yemen seems a little more chaotic than usual today