Middle East update: December 9-10 2017

IRAQ The Iraqi government on Saturday declared that its war with ISIS is over. On Sunday, it even held a big happy victory parade through downtown Baghdad. Before you get too excited, what this apparently signifies is that Baghdad has taken control over its side of the Iraq-Syrian border from ISIS. So territorially the group… Continue reading Middle East update: December 9-10 2017

Middle East update: August 21-22 2017

PSA: This may very well be my last update until Monday. I’m traveling for the rest of the week and while ideally I would like to find time to pump out a little content while I’m doing so, realistically I don’t think it’s going to be possible. ISIS According to the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism… Continue reading Middle East update: August 21-22 2017

Middle East update: August 3-4 2017

IRAQ There’s been a bit of ISIS activity in Ninewa province over the past couple of days–for example, ISIS forces in Tal Afar unsuccessfully attacked a couple of villages outside that city, undoubtedly an attempt to forestall the coming Iraqi operation there. The Tal Afar operation should begin fairly soon and is unlikely to be… Continue reading Middle East update: August 3-4 2017

Middle East update: June 14-15 2017

SYRIA As the Raqqa battle intensifies, civilians–naturally–are paying the heaviest price. UN investigators reported Wednesday on the “staggering” loss of life seen in Raqqa since heavy coalition bombing there began in March. Hundreds of civilians have been killed so far and the battle for the city is really still in its opening stages. ISIS is… Continue reading Middle East update: June 14-15 2017

Middle East update: May 8-11 2017

Hi, long time no see I guess. Everybody OK? No? Right, of course not. Because this update is going to be so big, I’m splitting it into an as yet unknown number of parts. I’m actually considering doing this for every one of these updates moving forward to keep post length down, but I’m not… Continue reading Middle East update: May 8-11 2017

Conflict update: December 27 2016

This may be mercifully (for all of us) short tonight. World War III Senator John McCain (R-WEBOMBINGANYONEYET) went to Estonia today and said some words about America’s commitment to NATO and protecting its Baltic members from possible Russian aggression. He was trying to reassure the Baltic states in advance of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Trump having… Continue reading Conflict update: December 27 2016

Conflict update, December 6

Lots of human rights and humanitarian news today and, surprise, none of it good. Iraq Human Rights Watch–which I know has its issues, but still–issued a report on Sunday on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s economic blockade of Sinjar, which is being used as a base by the KRG’s rival, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The… Continue reading Conflict update, December 6