World update: March 6 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN ISIS attacked the offices of a construction company in the city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people. The five ISIS attackers were all killed in the ensuing fight with Afghan security forces. CHINA United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet delivered her annual report to the Human Rights Council… Continue reading World update: March 6 2019

Asia/Africa update: December 10 2018

UNITED NATIONS ASIA The UN on Monday adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, absent 29 countries who have decided to reject the accord or are debating whether to reject it. It’s rare that an international treaty like this generates so much drama, but such is the power of racism I guess.… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: December 10 2018

Middle East update: December 10 2018

SYRIA The Syrian military announced on Monday that it’s going to demobilize conscripts and reserves who have completed five years of military service in the civil war (in the case of conscripts, that means five years beyond their mandatory 18 months of service). This reflects quite a turnaround for the Syrian government, which was so short… Continue reading Middle East update: December 10 2018

Middle East update: December 5-6 2018

SYRIA In a major development in the cleanup operation against ISIS in Deir Ezzor province, Syrian Democratic Forces fighters have reportedly broken through ISIS defenses into Hajin, the largest Syrian town still under ISIS control. The SDF now controls part of the town, though you can probably expect a major ISIS counterattack to be forthcoming.… Continue reading Middle East update: December 5-6 2018

World update: November 7 2018

Happy Diwali to those who are celebrating! ASIA PAKISTAN Asia Bibi, whose 2010 blasphemy conviction was tossed out in court last week, has reportedly been released from prison. Which may not be great news for her, given that she and her family have almost certainly become targets for Islamist extremists. Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, has been… Continue reading World update: November 7 2018

Middle East update: October 17 2018

SYRIA United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura is leaving his post for, uh, “personal reasons” at the end of November. I don’t use those quotes to make fun of de Mistura, who has failed but in a job at which there never was much chance for success. On his way out de Mistura says… Continue reading Middle East update: October 17 2018

Middle East update: September 28-30 2018

SYRIA The Islamist rebel group Faylaq al-Sham (“The Levant Corps”) on Sunday reportedly began withdrawing from the demilitarized zone established in Idlib province under the Russia-Turkey deescalation agreement. It’s the first rebel group to make that move. On the other hand, a formerly US-backed Free Syrian Army faction called Jaysh al-Izza (“The Army of Glory”) rejected the deescalation… Continue reading Middle East update: September 28-30 2018