Middle East update: July 6 2018

SYRIA While there may be some mopping up to be done, Daraa province is now back in Bashar al-Assad’s hands. Rebels there agreed on Friday to surrender their medium and heavy weapons and to either give up fighting or be relocated to Idlib province. As a result, the Syrian government regained control over its important… Continue reading Middle East update: July 6 2018

Middle East update: June 23-24 2018

I’m going to be away for most of the next two weeks so these will be our last major updates until July 5. SYRIA Israel on Sunday launched a Patriot missile at a Syrian drone it says was about to cross into Israeli airspace. The missile missed and the drone apparently turned back on its… Continue reading Middle East update: June 23-24 2018

Europe/Americas update: May 26-27 2018

EUROPE RUSSIA Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe met on Saturday in Moscow to try to end World War II. No, seriously. Japan and Russia/the Soviet Union never signed a peace treaty at the end of that war because they couldn’t agree on the final status of the Kuril Islands, a… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: May 26-27 2018

Middle East update: March 8 2018

SYRIA Yesterday the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that pro-government forces had split Eastern Ghouta in two, but today the word is they’re only “poised” to split it in two, so I guess the SOHR jumped the gun a bit. On the other hand this new report is coming from the rebels, so they… Continue reading Middle East update: March 8 2018

Middle East update: September 27-28 2017

ISIS ISIS released a new (?) audio recording from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Thursday. Baghdadi, assuming it was really him, offered the usual “keep fighting” pablum that these messages always include, but the real reason anybody listens to these things is in order to gain some clues into whether or not the guy is still… Continue reading Middle East update: September 27-28 2017

Middle East update: September 26 2017

A relatively quick one tonight, it’s been a long day. IRAQ The main story today is of course the Kurdish independence referendum, in which “yes” unsurprisingly won going away. Final results will be released Wednesday but the preliminary estimates suggest that “yes” may have pulled in 90 percent or more of the vote. As I’ve… Continue reading Middle East update: September 26 2017

Conflict update, December 19 2016

Turkey Obviously the Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov’s assassination in Ankara was the big story of the day, but I don’t have anything more to say about it right now so, uh, let’s move on? Syria I haven’t been able to keep up with this feature the past couple of days, which is probably for the… Continue reading Conflict update, December 19 2016