Night Watch

China: Attackers drove a car into a police station in southern Xinjiang and detonated explosives on 21 June. Police shot and killed 13 attackers. Three policemen were wounded.

Comment: Last week China executed 13 Uighurs for acts of terrorism, as part of its crackdown on militant attacks. Saturday's attack shows the militants remain defiant.

Afghanistan: The Afghan election commission decided on 21 June to delay releasing the results of the recent presidential runoff election because of protests and unrest.

Comment: The supporters of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah released recordings of an election commission memberordering ballot boxes stuffed for Abdullah's opponent Ashraf Ghani. This evidence, if authenticated, could invalidate the run-off election. Under current circumstances, there is almost no way to hold a second runoff election that any party would deem fair.

Iraq: Situation update. The pattern of the attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) over the weekend continues to reflect consolidation of gains. After the blitzkrieg attacks of a week ago into the heart of the Sunni governates, ISIL and supporting groups have moved this weekend to control the borders and other towns they bypassed.

In the northwest, ISIL and other anti-government groups managed to take control of Tal Afar airport, after several days of fighting. Tal Afar is on a route from the Syrian border to Mosul.

Government forces supposedly still control the oil refinery at Baiji.

In the west, the Iraqi government apparently ordered its forces to abandon the border crossing points. ISIL fighters moved in. Iraqi forces withdrew from Qaim, Rawa, Ana, Haditha and Rutba. Qaim, Rawa, Ana and Haditha are near the Syrian border along one of the routes from the border to Baghdad. Rutba is near the Syrian border on another route from the border to Baghdad.

The Iraqi border and army units at al Walid border crossing post reportedly withdrew into Syria and left their posts to ISIL. ISIL fighters also reportedly occupied the Turaibil border post, Iraq's only border crossing point into Jordan.

Iraq's military spokesman, General Qassim Atta, told reporters that what occurred was a "strategic withdrawal" in some areas. The Iraqi military command reportedly asked Syria to fly airstrikes against the border posts ISIL holds.


Night Watch

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