Night Watch

Thailand-Cambodia: Cambodian exodus. The number of Cambodians leaving Thailand exceeds 160,000 and threatens to become a humanitarian crisis. Cambodian authorities are trying to make arrangements to send the returnees back to their home villages.

Comment: A crackdown on illegal workers is part of the martial law program, but documented persons may stay. One of the reasons Cambodians are leaving Thailand is that they fear retaliation for past Cambodian government support for the governments of Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra in Bangkok. They likely will return after the intentions of the martial law authorities become clear towards foreign workers.

Pakistan: Today, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif commented on the anti-terrorist operations in North Waziristan Agency.

Sharif said that he was determined that Pakistan would not be a haven for terrorists. He also assured the nation that Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched after a unanimous decision by the political and military leaderships. He said it would continue until terrorism was eliminated from the country.

Comment: Although the operation was only two days old, Pakistani press already had begun questioning the Prime Minister's silence about the operation. Today's statement succeeded in removing doubt about the existence of a policy difference between the Army and the Prime Minister.

The attack at Karachi international airport was a world-class embarrassment for the institutions of government at multiple levels. The Pakistani Taliban attack succeeded in bringing the Army and the government leadership together, despite policy differences, in pursuit of the attackers.

Iraq: Tal Afarcaptured. On 16 June, ultra-extreme fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) succeeded in capturing Tal Afar, after a day of fighting. No news outlet has reported casualty figures, but they probably were significant.

Comment: Tal Afar is in northwestern Iraq. It is not on the way to Baghdad. This was an operation to consolidate gains and lines of communications to northeastern Syria. Its loss embarrasses Turkey, which has acted as the protector of the Turkmens in Tal Afar.

Tribal support. The Sheikh of one of the largest Arab tribes declared openly his support for ISIL fighters whom he described as revolutionaries. Sheikh Ali Hatem al Suleiman al Dulaymi, the leader of the Dulaym tribal federation, however, tempered his support by urging the revolutionaries to not kill indiscriminately.

Night Watch

NightWatch is an internationally acclaimed nightly newsletter that tracks and assesses threats to US national security. It has an edgy, executive style unlike any other summary of its kind.

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