Middle East update: May 26-27 2018

SYRIA A group of ISIS fighters attacked a Syrian military position in Deir Ezzor province overnight and, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, killed 35 pro-government troops including nine Russian soldiers–not contractors, but actually active duty soldiers. Russia’s defense ministry has acknowledged four Russian deaths in the attack, which it says also left… Continue reading Middle East update: May 26-27 2018

Middle East update: February 17-18 2018

SYRIA So first the big news. According to Reuters, and I would take this with a grain of salt because they don’t seem to have any confirmation of it, the YPG and the Syrian government have reached an agreement that will see the Syrian army move into Afrin in the coming days to fight the… Continue reading Middle East update: February 17-18 2018

Middle East update: January 27-28 2018

SYRIA Fighting in Afrin is still centered around Bursaya hill, a strategic high-ground position that could enable someone to, say, position mortars to target other parts of Afrin, or to target the nearby Turkish city of Kilis, depending on that person’s interests. On Sunday it appeared as though Turkish and allied Free Syrian Army forces… Continue reading Middle East update: January 27-28 2018

Middle East update: January 23 2018

SYRIA The Turkish military said on Tuesday that its forces have killed over 260 Kurdish and ISIS fighters in Operation Olive Branch so far. “And” is doing a lot of work in that sentence. Similarly, so far in this post I’ve written over 50 words in English, German, and Tamil. I’m a polyglot! Also, this… Continue reading Middle East update: January 23 2018

Middle East update: January 20-21 2018

SYRIA Welp, Turkey finally did it: Turkey said it had begun a ground incursion into the Kurdish enclave in Syria known as Afrin a day after intense aerial bombardment that signalled the opening of hostilities in a new phase of Ankara’s involvement in the war across the border.   The launch of the ground campaign… Continue reading Middle East update: January 20-21 2018

Middle East update: January 1-2 2018

We’re going to ease back into things after the long holiday break. As usual when I take an extended break I’m not going to even attempt to run down everything that happened while I was gone. We’ll cover what’s happened the past couple of days with a few scattered looks at things that happened prior… Continue reading Middle East update: January 1-2 2018

Middle East update: December 20 2017

SYRIA Overnight airstrikes killed 19 civilians in the rebel-held Idlib village of Maar Shureen, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Russia denied involvement, which means it was likely the Syrian air force that carried out the attack. Witnesses allege that this was a double-tap strike, with a second bombing following shortly after the first… Continue reading Middle East update: December 20 2017