Middle East update: February 1-2 2018

SYRIA BuzzFeed has a decent roundup of what’s been happening in Afrin. No “news” as such, but if you haven’t been following the story and want to get caught up you could do worse. The Trump administration says it may Do Something if it continues to receive reports of the Syrian military using chemical weapons.… Continue reading Middle East update: February 1-2 2018

Middle East update: January 30 2018

SYRIA Russia’s big Syrian congress in Sochi concluded on Tuesday–having accomplished, as expected, nothing–and it appears things went really, really well: Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, helped open the conference on Tuesday by reading out a statement from Vladimir Putin saying the conditions were ripe for Syria to turn “a tragic page” in its history.… Continue reading Middle East update: January 30 2018

Middle East update: January 29 2018

SYRIA Airwars has produced its first civilian casualty count of the Afrin conflict: A new rolling assessment published by Airwars has so far tracked 24 claimed civilian casualty events within Afrin blamed on Turkey – and a further nine events attributed to Kurdish forces.   From the start of operations on January 20th to January… Continue reading Middle East update: January 29 2018

Middle East update: January 25 2018

SYRIA The Turkish government essentially threatened to go to war with the United States on Thursday, warning US forces embedded with the Kurds around Manbij that if they don’t skeddadle they could be in for a very bad time. This is likely bluster–Ankara and Washington don’t get along very well, but Turkey actually attacking American… Continue reading Middle East update: January 25 2018

Middle East update: January 17 2018

SYRIA Turkey seems to be walking back a bit from its “imminent” attack on the YPG in Afrin and Manbij. On Wednesday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ told reporters that Turkey will take action in northern Syria unless its demands are met, which is a bit less provocative than “the shooting should commence any minute… Continue reading Middle East update: January 17 2018

Middle East update: January 4 2018

IRAQ Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is apparently going to try some sleight of hand in an effort to disarm and cut the size of the paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units: Abadi’s plan envisages taking back the militias’ heavy weapons and cutting their strength by half, according to military and intelligence sources.   The army is… Continue reading Middle East update: January 4 2018

Middle East update: December 21 2017

While I never say never around here, I feel pretty strongly that tonight’s updates will be attwiw’s final ones for 2017. We’re hosting Christmas here and then traveling to visit family, so I need a bit of time to prepare and then most of next week will just be logistically impossible. The blog won’t go… Continue reading Middle East update: December 21 2017