Middle East update: August 16 2017

IRAQ Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the air campaign against Tal Afar continues to ratchet up in advance of the ground offensive that will begin…well, someday. Probably someday soon but I don’t want to overpromise. Anonymous Iraqi sources are still talking about weeks before the ground attack really begins. There’s less… Continue reading Middle East update: August 16 2017

Middle East update: August 14-15 2017

IRAQ Those two US soldiers who were killed in northern Iraq on Sunday were apparently killed by an artillery “mishap.” Oops! I guess mistakes will happen, when you’ve been at war nonstop for 16 years in seven different countries! Color us embarrassed! Reminder that ISIS still says its rockets killed those two soldiers. But artillery… Continue reading Middle East update: August 14-15 2017

Middle East update: August 10-11 2017

IRAQ I know I’ve already mentioned this several times before, but if you’re interested in really keeping up with day-to-day developments in Iraq I highly recommend Joel Wing’s “Musings on Iraq” blog, which I cite in these posts all the time. He goes into much greater detail than I’m able to do in this overviews… Continue reading Middle East update: August 10-11 2017

Middle East update: August 8 2017

SYRIA Later in the day on Tuesday the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that coalition airstrikes have killed 29 civilians, including 14 children, in Raqqa over the past day. There’s been no comment from the coalition or the Pentagon. In Ghouta, meanwhile, the beatings will continue until morale improves: Pro-government forces intensified their assault… Continue reading Middle East update: August 8 2017

Middle East update: August 5-7 2017

SYRIA Bashar al-Assad’s military is on the offensive again, on two fronts. In Homs province, they were able to capture the town of Sukhna from ISIS on Sunday, which should be the last serious ISIS obstacle between Assad’s forces and besieged Deir Ezzor. Meanwhile, Assad’s air force has been bombing the Damascus suburb of Ein… Continue reading Middle East update: August 5-7 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: August 1 2017

You may have noticed that I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. While I’m absolutely not going to try to catch you up on everything that’s happened while I’ve been away, I will be interspersing the usual daily news with a few stories that developed over that time. IRAQ Combat operations in western Mosul… Continue reading Middle East update: August 1 2017