Middle East update: July 12 2018

SYRIA The Syrian military seized the city of Daraa on Thursday, symbolically flying the Syrian flag in the middle of town in commemoration. Daraa is an important tactical victory–you can’t control southwestern Syria without it, obviously. But it may be an even bigger symbolic victory, because it was in Daraa in the spring of 2011… Continue reading Middle East update: July 12 2018

Middle East update: June 20 2018

SYRIA The escalation in government bombardments in southwestern Syria reportedly has the Jordanian government concerned. Amman would desperately like to see its main border crossing with Syria reopened to facilitate commercial traffic, but it wants a peaceful solution to the situation to avoid either a new influx of displaced Syrians heading for the Jordanian border… Continue reading Middle East update: June 20 2018

Middle East update: June 8 2018

SYRIA Airstrikes on the village of Zardana, in Idlib province, on Thursday reportedly killed at least 44 people. Syrian rebel media sources are accusing Russia of carrying out the strikes, but Moscow is denying it. It seems like it would be odd for the Russians (or the Syrian government, for that matter) to attack a target… Continue reading Middle East update: June 8 2018

World update: May 28 2018

In the interest of the Memorial Day holiday, today’s update(s) may be a little shorter and/or earlier than usual. ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Taliban’s “governor” of Helmand province has been overheard (his communications were intercepted) ordering the closure of all opium processing facilities in populated areas in the province, citing civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes… Continue reading World update: May 28 2018

World update: May 2 2016

Sorry, we’ve got another relatively brief update today. It’s been a busy day at HQ and your blog host isn’t feeling well to boot. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Rebels controlling an enclave near Homs said on Wednesday that they have reached agreement with Damascus and Russia to evacuate that area, surrender their heavy weapons, and relocate north near… Continue reading World update: May 2 2016

World update: April 23 2018

MIDDLE EAST SYRIA The Syrian military kept up its bombardment of Yarmouk for another day on Monday, though it says it targeted only areas still under ISIS control. Apparently some of the group’s fighters are refusing to leave despite the surrender agreement they negotiated with the Syrian government late last week. YEMEN The Saudi-led coalition… Continue reading World update: April 23 2018

Middle East update: March 6 2018

SYRIA Implementing the last stage of the Aleppo playbook, Russia on Tuesday offered Syrian rebels still in Eastern Ghouta safe passage out of that besieged area to, well, someplace else. And here’s the rub–while that deal has worked in the past, with the Russians offering safe passage to Idlib province, that offer is no longer… Continue reading Middle East update: March 6 2018