Middle East update: December 14 2017

SYRIA United Nations-brokered peace talks in Geneva–stop me if you’ve heard this one before–collapsed on Thursday having made no progress. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura laid the blame squarely on Damascus, saying that its delegates were “not willing to meet anyone who has a different opinion” and had squandered “a golden big opportunity.” That last… Continue reading Middle East update: December 14 2017

Middle East update: December 13 2017

IRAQ Regular readers will know what a big fan I am of Patrick Wing’s “Musings on Iraq” blog, which does invaluable work digesting Iraqi media for English-speaking audiences. Wing today is arguing that the Iraqis fudged the completion of their Jazeera operation, the effort to sweep the western Anbar desert for remaining ISIS members, to… Continue reading Middle East update: December 13 2017

Middle East update: December 6 2017

ISRAEL-PALESTINE Donald Trump made it official on Wednesday: he does, in fact, wear adult diapers the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and he has ordered the State Department to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv. In making this announcement, he actually tried to suggest that he was advancing the Israel-Palestine peace… Continue reading Middle East update: December 6 2017

Middle East update: December 5 2017

YEMEN Well, Ali Abdullah Saleh’s death had one fairly immediate impact: there were no reports of fighting between his supporters and the Houthis in Sanaa on Tuesday. Instead, the Houthis and their supporters held a rally to celebrate killing their erstwhile ally and rounding up Saleh diehards in the capital. Ahmed Saleh, the ex-dictator’s son,… Continue reading Middle East update: December 5 2017

Middle East update: December 4 2017

YEMEN WELP. You can throw out a bunch of yesterday’s update, because ex-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, recently seen divorcing the Houthis and moving in with Mohammad bin Salman, up and got himself killed, to death even, on Monday. The circumstances of his untimely demise cannot be entirely hashed out at this point, and might… Continue reading Middle East update: December 4 2017

Middle East update: December 1 2017

SYRIA If you’re wondering how things are going in Geneva, the answer is one word–awesome uhhhhh: Syria’s government delegation quit U.N.-led peace talks in Geneva on Friday and said it would not return next week unless the opposition withdrew a statement demanding President Bashar al-Assad play no role in any interim post-war government. In case… Continue reading Middle East update: December 1 2017

Middle East update: November 30 2017

I’ve been occupied with other projects today and on top of that WordPress wasn’t working for me for most of the afternoon. So you’re getting a compressed update this evening, sorry. SYRIA Negotiators for the Syrian government and Syrian rebels did not meet face to face in Geneva on Thursday, despite indications from United Nations… Continue reading Middle East update: November 30 2017