Middle East update: July 9 2018

SYRIA Syrian military forces have reportedly surrounded and besieged rebel-held parts of Daraa city. These rebels have presumably rejected the ceasefire deals that rebels in other parts of Daraa province have struck. Syrian forces are also pressuring Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid, a hardline group with links to ISIS that controls some territory in Daraa province.… Continue reading Middle East update: July 9 2018

Middle East update: July 7-8 2018

SYRIA According to Syrian state media, Israeli planes fired missiles at the T4 airbase outside of Homs on Sunday night. That base is used by Iranian personnel and the Israelis have attacked it previously. The Syrian reports say that their air defenses “thwarted” the attack, shooting down several Israeli missiles and hiting one Israeli aircraft,… Continue reading Middle East update: July 7-8 2018

Middle East update: June 5 2018

There are new things on the horizon here, at my Patreon site, and elsewhere. Please check it out! SYRIA The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that a US-led coalition airstrike in Syria’s Hasakah province on Monday killed 11 civilians. The strike occurred near one of the small pockets in northeastern Syria still occupied by… Continue reading Middle East update: June 5 2018

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Wahhabi sack of Karbala (probably 1802)

Ideologically, Wahhabism takes the embrace of God’s oneness and avoidance of shirk as its main point of emphasis, so it’s no wonder that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab embraced what Ibn Taymiyah had to say about the treatment of saints and their shrines. He went further though, arguing that Shiʿa were guilty of elevating their imams over Muhammad… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Wahhabi sack of Karbala (probably 1802)

Middle East update: February 12 2018

SYRIA Reuters is reporting that at least two Russian mercenaries who were fighting in Syria were killed during that US airstrike on Syrian-aligned forces in Deir Ezzor province last week. “Associates” of the two men have reportedly confirmed their deaths. The official Russian line is that no Russians were involved in that incident, and while… Continue reading Middle East update: February 12 2018

Middle East update: January 22 2018

SYRIA Rebel shelling of Damascus’s old city on Monday killed at least nine civilians and wounded over 20 more, according to Syrian state TV. And that pretty much does it for Syria, I guess, so let’s move o- Oh, right, the other thing. Turkey’s invasion of Afrin continues, with Turkish forces and their Free Syrian… Continue reading Middle East update: January 22 2018

Middle East update: January 13-14 2018

By way of a site update, with tomorrow being a holiday in the US I’m not 100 percent sure I’ll be blogging. If not then I’ll be back on Tuesday with two days’ worth of bad news. IRAQ I have bad news, good news, and political news, which is probably bad but also silly. Baghdad… Continue reading Middle East update: January 13-14 2018