Liberating Fallujah, or whatever’s left of it

Fallujah officially belongs to Iraq again, per the Pentagon: Iraqi security forces have “100 percent control” of Fallujah, located 40 miles west of Baghdad, Pentagon officials said. Fallujah was the first city taken over by ISIS in January 2014. “I congratulate Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and the Iraqi people for their progress in freeing the… Continue reading Liberating Fallujah, or whatever’s left of it

The Fallujah operation is reportedly going sideways

The operation to liberate Fallujah has reportedly hit a wall, and control over it appears to have slipped entirely from Baghdad’s grasp. The Iraqi special forces that have been tasked with leading the advance into the city say that they’re being stymied not by ISIS’s resistance but by an inability to coordinate their operation with… Continue reading The Fallujah operation is reportedly going sideways

Today in Middle Eastern history: Lebanon’s Bus Massacre (1975)

The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) lasted a whopping 15 years and resulted in the deaths of as many as 150,000-250,000 (estimates vary) people. By comparison, the Syrian Civil War, which everybody agrees is a catastrophe of epic proportions, has gone on for a mere five years with only a marginally higher death toll (using the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Lebanon’s Bus Massacre (1975)

The problem with proxies

I need your help to keep this blog going! Please read this and consider contributing something. Also, while you’re out there on the internet tubes, please consider liking this blog’s Facebook page and following me on Twitter! And please share my work with your friends/followers to help me grow the audience around here! Thank you! Many… Continue reading The problem with proxies

This is what provocation looks like

ISIS only survives in the long-run (at least in Syria and Iraq) to the extent that it’s able to continue taking advantage of Sunni alienation and anger at the governments in Baghdad and Damascus. Their leadership is well aware of that, which is why on Monday they did this: At least 32 people were killed… Continue reading This is what provocation looks like

Today is (the start of) Ashura, 1437 AH

Tomorrow (which starts at sundown tonight) is the tenth of the month of Muharram (the first month of the year) on the Islamic calendar, also known as Ashura (ashr = 10). This day is commemorated by some Sunnis and all Shiʿa with fasting and ritual. For Sunnis, Ashura is traditionally (going back to Muhammad) observed… Continue reading Today is (the start of) Ashura, 1437 AH

Today was also a good day for the bad guys

While I am obviously very happy about today’s Supreme Court decision, and the news that cops appear to be closing in on on those two escaped murderers in New York is also welcome, this wouldn’t a very good “what’s happening in the rest of the world?” blog if I didn’t note that today was unfortunately… Continue reading Today was also a good day for the bad guys