Night Watch

Posted July 19, 2014

The prime minister's office announced the start of a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip. The statement said the mission is to destroy tunnels used by terrorists to enter Israel and harm the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

Posted July 18, 2014

A suicide attack killed at least 89 people in Paktika Province, in southeastern Afghanistan, when a car packed with explosives detonated near a busy market and mosque.

Posted July 16, 2014

The timing does not seem ripe for an end of firing just yet. The Israelis do not seem satisfied they have accomplished their goals, which include a significant degradation of Hamas' ability to launch rockets.

Posted July 15, 2014

The Palestinian rocket barrage probably should be remembered as one of the most inept and ineffective uses of ordnance in the history of warfare. One barrage of rockets did succeed in doing some damage... It knocked out the Israeli power plant that serves 70,000 Palestinians.

Posted July 12, 2014

Ba'athist militants have started "a systematic assassination campaign" against ISIL commanders in areas under their joint control in Diyala Governorate.

Posted July 10, 2014

ISIL is acting quickly to eliminate rivals and malcontents, especially their leaders. The so-called Caliph is reported to have had 13 imams executed over the weekend in Mosul.

Posted July 09, 2014

The government and the Palestinian leaders are under pressure to escalate the crisis. Hamas has challenged the Palestinian Authority to join the fight.

Posted July 08, 2014

The North Korean leaders want the South Korean younger people to act as their agents of change. South Koreans strongly favor some of the terms, such as more frequent people-to-people exchanges.

Posted July 04, 2014

With the arrival of US Apache gunship helicopters, four air forces will be flying missions in Iraq, including the Syrian air force. Some news services have reported that Iranian fighter jets have been flying missions against ISIL targets for at least a week. Air traffic control should be interesting.

Posted July 03, 2014

If government claims of ISIL casualties are close to accurate, ISIL is losing several hundred fighters a day. Government losses are understated, but ISIL does not appear capable of surviving that level of attrition.

Posted July 02, 2014

Some Sunni Arab tribal militants told the press that they intend to continue their fight against the Baghdad government and will deal with ISIL later.

Posted July 01, 2014

The declaration of the Caliphate demands allegiance from all Muslims. It is a declaration of war against all who do not swear allegiance and against non-believers.

Posted June 28, 2014

Al-Maliki made clear, however, that he went to the Russians and Belarus for assistance because US aid takes so long to arrive.

Posted June 27, 2014

Without help from local tribes, ISIL would be fatally overextended. In any event, pockets of government forces remain active in Sunni Arab regions and they have slowed ISIL.

Posted June 26, 2014

Now that Kyiv has agreed to hold talks with the eastern separatists, investing them with political standing, Putin can afford to be conciliatory.

Posted June 25, 2014

Today, the Ministry of Defense said Iraqi forces have regained control of the al-Walid border crossing with Syria and the Turaibil border crossing with Jordan. The government's claim is not confirmed and appears doubtful.

Posted June 24, 2014

The Iraqi leadership apparently has decided to concentrate its resources for the defense of Baghdad. Thus, it is withdrawing forces from the periphery or cutting those forces off in order to find a defensive line it can hold.

Posted June 22, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki over the phone and expressed his support for Iraq.

Posted June 21, 2014

Pro-militant propaganda increasingly focuses on erasing the national boundaries set by the colonial powers in 1916. That idea is becoming popular among Arabs.

Posted June 20, 2014

Although news reporting is limited, it conveys a few insights about the fighting. There are no clear battle lines, as in a conventional war. Success is measured in terms of neighborhoods cleared by soldiers on the ground, as in Syria.

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