Middle East update: November 9 2017

SYRIA The Syrian army made it official on Thursday: it (with some help from its allies) has taken al-Bukamal from ISIS. This occasioned a dramatic declaration of victory from Damascus, but ISIS still controls enough Syrian countryside to disappear and go underground if that’s what its leaders want to do. That’s not really a clear victory.… Continue reading Middle East update: November 9 2017

Middle East update: September 18 2017

I got a late start today because I was working on a piece for LobeLog and also because I am extraordinarily spacey today. So if this update is briefer than usual, or if it meanders off and doesn’t make any sense–either is possible–then that’s why. SYRIA One child was killed and six other people were… Continue reading Middle East update: September 18 2017

Middle East update: August 30 2017

IRAQ The fighting around the town of Ayadiyah has been so fierce that it seems likely that the bulk of the 1000-2000 ISIS fighters who were thought to have been in Tal Afar actually retreated to Ayadiyah instead and are making their last stand there. Iraqi officers are comparing the fighting in Ayadiyah to the… Continue reading Middle East update: August 30 2017

Middle East update: August 14-15 2017

IRAQ Those two US soldiers who were killed in northern Iraq on Sunday were apparently killed by an artillery “mishap.” Oops! I guess mistakes will happen, when you’ve been at war nonstop for 16 years in seven different countries! Color us embarrassed! Reminder that ISIS still says its rockets killed those two soldiers. But artillery… Continue reading Middle East update: August 14-15 2017

Middle East update: July 1-2 2017

SYRIA At least eight people, in addition to the bombers, were killed in Damascus on Sunday in a multiple car bombing. Three cars attempted to get into the central part of the city, but two were stopped at checkpoints and deliberately detonated, so the attack certainly could have been worse. As such the Syrian government… Continue reading Middle East update: July 1-2 2017

Middle East update: June 30 2017

I know it’s a little early this evening, but I’m beat and so I’m deciding to call it a night barring some major thing happening. SYRIA Depending on which account you believe, a major ISIS counterattack in Raqqa on Friday either mostly fizzled out or made substantial territorial gains. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights… Continue reading Middle East update: June 30 2017

Middle East update: June 13 2017

QATAR Today in “Me Or Your Lying Eyes,” it’s Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir: “There is no blockade of Qatar. Qatar is free to go. The ports are open, the airports are open,” Jubeir said alongside a silent Tillerson who had called last week for the embargo on Qatar to be “eased”. “The limitation on… Continue reading Middle East update: June 13 2017