Middle East update: January 6-7 2018

SYRIA The fighting in Idlib province continues to intensify, and at this point I think we can officially scrap any notion of “deescalation.” For now the Syrian army’s goal remains the Abu al-Duhur airbase (they’re nearly there after capturing the village of Sinjar over the weekend), though they also want to take the eastern part of… Continue reading Middle East update: January 6-7 2018

Middle East update: November 27 2017

Obviously I’ve been away for a bit. I’m not going to even begin to cover everything that’s happened in the past week, but I will try to get caught up on a few major things. SYRIA Another round of UN-led peace talks is about to begin in Geneva, and you know I think there’s a… Continue reading Middle East update: November 27 2017

Middle East update: November 11-12 2017

IRAQ Iraqi forces are moving against Rawa, the last town of any size in Iraq still under ISIS’s control. Initially I have to admit I thought the Iraqis would take Rawa before Qaim and work their way west to the Syrian border, but instead they opted to go around Rawa, take Qaim and close off… Continue reading Middle East update: November 11-12 2017

Middle East update: October 28-29 2017

IRAQ You don’t have Barzani to kick around anymore (sort of): The president of Iraq’s self-ruled northern Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani, dissolved his powers as president Sunday, distributing them between the Kurdish prime minister, Parliament and the judiciary, a Kurdish official told The Associated Press.   Barzani also informed parliament that he will not seek an… Continue reading Middle East update: October 28-29 2017

Middle East update: October 14-15 2017

IRAQ BREAKING/NOW: Well, you could read everything below, written earlier today. There’s some important material in there. However it’s also been, to say the least, overtaken by events: #BREAKING#Iraqi Prime Minister Haider #Abadi ordered the security forces to strart a comprehensive attack on #Kirkuk – State TV — Barzan Sadiq (@BarzanSadiq) October 15, 2017 The… Continue reading Middle East update: October 14-15 2017

Middle East update: September 15 2017

IRAQ The death toll from Thursday’s ISIS attack in Nasiriyah has now risen to 84, and as more details come out it seems to have been a fairly intricately planned effort involving multiple pieces and sequential targeting of a police checkpoint followed by two restaurants popular with residents and pilgrims. The main takeaway from something… Continue reading Middle East update: September 15 2017

Middle East update: September 9-10 2017

IRAQ Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, told the BBC on Sunday that he wants to work with the Iraqi government to redraw the borders of Kurdistan but will do so unilaterally if Baghdad won’t cooperate. It still seems the KRG is unlikely to go ahead and declare independence immediately following the… Continue reading Middle East update: September 9-10 2017