Asia/Africa update: August 9 2017

NORTH KOREA If you’re concerned that it’s become impossible to tell the difference between the rhetoric coming from Donald Trump and that coming from Kim Jong-un RE: nuclear war, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is here to tell you it’s all OK: “I think Americans should sleep well at night, have no concerns about this… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: August 9 2017

Middle East update: August 3-4 2017

IRAQ There’s been a bit of ISIS activity in Ninewa province over the past couple of days–for example, ISIS forces in Tal Afar unsuccessfully attacked a couple of villages outside that city, undoubtedly an attempt to forestall the coming Iraqi operation there. The Tal Afar operation should begin fairly soon and is unlikely to be… Continue reading Middle East update: August 3-4 2017

Middle East update: May 30 2017

IRAQ Yesterday evening’s bombing in Baghdad was the first of several that have struck the Iraqi capital over the past 24 hours. The attack yesterday, targeting a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad, has killed 17 people so far and I’m not sure if any of the wounded are still in critical condition. This morning,… Continue reading Middle East update: May 30 2017

Thanksgiving conflict update: November 24

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrated it or are celebrating it today. If you’re thankful for the work I do around this place, please don’t hesitate to drop a little something in the tip jar down below, or (even better) to subscribe via the Patreon link on the front page. Every little bit helps, especially… Continue reading Thanksgiving conflict update: November 24

Conflict update: November 21

Iraq If you’ve been keeping up with Joel Wing’s neighborhood-by-neighborhood accounting of the Mosul fighting, you’ll likely notice that the Iraqis have been declaring a bunch of neighborhoods “liberated” for the second or third time since they entered the city. This, as much as anything else, should tell you how quickly the operation is progressing,… Continue reading Conflict update: November 21

That time of year

The month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, is one of four months that, in addition to Ramadan, are explicitly identified as sacred months in the Qurʾan. This is probably an extension of a pre-Islamic Arabian tradition wherein certain months were set aside to be free from violence. The tenth day… Continue reading That time of year

ISIS vs. the gray zone, round ???

One way that ISIS tries to swell its ranks and increase its power is by eliminating what it calls “gray zones.” That term is specifically used to refer to places in the world where Muslims and non-Muslims coexist under non-Muslim governments–so many countries in Europe, or the United States, would fit into this category. The… Continue reading ISIS vs. the gray zone, round ???