Night Watch

Posted August 30, 2014

The key question is not, as the US ambassador to the UN posed, today, what will make the Russians listen to the UN. It is what will ensure that the Russians stop. Obviously sanctions miss the mark.

Posted August 29, 2014

Syrian rebels, including fighters from the al-Qaida affiliated al-Nusra Front, seized control of a border crossing post on the Golan Heights on Wednesday after clashes with Syrian government forces.

Posted August 28, 2014

As for the ceasefire, it appears to match what the Israelis decided last week. Israel will keep it as long as Hamas does. It will retaliate against Gaza for mortar and rocket fire and recycle the ceasefire until the next breach by the Palestinians, if one occurs.

Posted August 26, 2014

Al Jazeera reported Iranian soldiers executed a joint operation with the Kurdish peshmerga militia in Diyala Governate and succeeded in retaking the town of Jalawla from fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Posted August 23, 2014

The Palestinians are continuing to use up their rockets at the rate of over 100 per day. Meanwhile, much of Gaza is being reduced to rubble. The Hamas leadership seems oddly comfortable with that outcome, provided they can still shoot rockets.

Posted August 22, 2014

The Gaza War resumed in earnest on the 20th. The Palestinians fired 150 rockets into Israel on 20 August. Israel sources say they fired 213 rockets since they broke the ceasefire.

Posted August 21, 2014

An Israeli military spokesman said the air force executed air strikes in the Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rocket fire that broke the ceasefire. One child is reported to have died as a result of the strikes. 01

Posted August 19, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel will not compromise on the security requirement that the Gaza Strip must be demilitarized. He also said that Hamas will not be permitted to obtain a political victory from its military defeat.

Posted August 16, 2014

ISIL will not be sitting still and might decide the transition in Iraqi leadership is the right time for another offensive surge against Baghdad. The transition will be a dangerous time because the government will be vulnerable.

Posted August 14, 2014

On Monday a US defense spokesman said US air forces have been flying about 100 sorties per day, including air refueling and reconnaissance missions. This level of effort to destroy mortar positions will not save the Yazidis and the Kurds.

Posted August 13, 2014

The Kurdish militias are too lightly armed to stand against ISIL's tanks, other armored vehicles and weapons. There does not appear to be enough time to build a supply chain to save the Kurds, even if staging bases were available.

Posted August 09, 2014

Apparently Hamas leaders judge their position is strengthened by more destruction and carnage. There will be more rocket firings from Gaza, and more Israeli air attacks in retaliation.

Posted August 08, 2014

Once an area falls to ISIL forces, it either remains under ISIL control or it is depopulated and destroyed. The Kurds are not fighting as well as they boast. The Kurdish offensive appears to be sputtering and is getting outflanked by ISIL's forces.

Posted August 07, 2014

Israel has sent a team of senior officials to participate in indirect negotiations with the Palestinians in which the Egyptians will act as intermediaries. The Palestinian delegation includes negotiators from Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad.

Posted August 06, 2014

Al-Maliki's motives in helping the Kurds are not entirely comradely. He wants to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq.

Posted August 05, 2014

Only a very small number of analysts and commentators have written that the Islamic world is in civil war. Muslims are killing other Muslims at an astonishing rate.

Posted August 02, 2014

The security situation has deteriorated in Tripoli and in Benghazi. In Tripoli, fighting between tribal militias has expanded beyond the airport region, south of Tripoli, to areas west of the capital.

Posted August 01, 2014

Fighters and supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continue to show their reach and capability. The frequency of bombings in Baghdad is slowly increasing.

Posted July 31, 2014

Russian media also is heavily biased, but occasionally contains useful factual information. Today it reported that parts of Donetsk received artillery fire from Ukrainian forces.

Posted July 30, 2014

According to one credible news analysis and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel is methodically reducing the size of the Gaza Strip by 40% by creating a 3 km wide zone in which no buildings will be left standing.

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