Middle East update: December 16-17 2017

SYRIA The Syrian Salvation Government, which is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s political arm, appears to be consolidating political control in Idlib province. Last week they gave the rival Syrian Interim Government a deadline to cease operations, and a couple of days later they decreed that all widows in Idlib must move in with a “sharia-compliant” male family member.… Continue reading Middle East update: December 16-17 2017

Asia/Africa update: June 19-20 2017

PHILIPPINES BREAKING: Just in the past few minutes (it’s about 10:30 PM east coast time as I write this) reports have starting coming in about more Islamist militant activity on the Philippines’ southern Mindanao Island: A police report said about 300 armed men, among them members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), stormed a school… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: June 19-20 2017

Conflict update: March 6 2017

DO OVER Donald Trump launched the world premiere of Muslim Ban, Episode 2: Attack of the Clods today, and, well, it hasn’t been struck down by a court yet so I guess that’s something. The revised travel ban removes Iraq from the list of proscribed nations altogether, so at least one country in which we… Continue reading Conflict update: March 6 2017

Conflict update, January 8 2017

Iraq Iraqi counter-terrorism forces in east Mosul say they’ve reached the eastern bank of the Tigris River. Some Iraqi politicians are claiming that as much as 88 percent of the eastern half of the city has been liberated, which is probably a substantial exaggeration, but it’s impossible to dispute that the offensive has made significant… Continue reading Conflict update, January 8 2017

Conflict update: December 26 2016

Israel The fallout from Friday’s UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s illegal annexation of occupied Palestinian territory continued all weekend. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government began by summoning the ambassadors of the 12 security council members who voted in favor of the resolution and with which Israel has relations (Venezuela and Malaysia also voted yes but don’t… Continue reading Conflict update: December 26 2016

Conflict update: December 23 2016

Barring some kind of major happening I’m out for the next couple of days. Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating it and Happy Hanukkah to those who are celebrating it. To those who are celebrating both, stop hoarding all the presents. Now, one last dose of (mostly) bad news for you all. Israel-Palestine I… Continue reading Conflict update: December 23 2016

A Real Festivus Miracle

There’s nothing like being pleasantly surprised for the holidays: The U.N. Security Council will vote on Friday on a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, defying pressure from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as well as Israel and several U.S. senators who urged Washington to use its veto. The United States is likely to abstain… Continue reading A Real Festivus Miracle