The liberation of Raqqa by the fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the military power of the Global Coalition confronting the Islamic State group (IS), was never going to be easy. Continue reading
Review – A Line in the River: Khartoum, City of Memory by Jamal Mahjoub
Home does strange things to us. There’s an entire sub-genre of autobiographical writing to attest to that. But for Jamal Mahjoub, a novelist whose life has been nothing if not international, home is less than fixed, and therefore difficult to pin down, let alone document. Continue reading
On Syria, the confused state of American policy persists.
This month, the president, Donald Trump, authorised strikes, in tandem with Britain and France, to punish the regime of Bashar al-Assad for its use of chemical weapons in Douma, eastern Ghouta. That might be taken to suggest that the United States and allies were prepared to act – to restrain brutality, to support stability, and to prevent the eruption of general chaos. Continue reading
When reports of airstrikes against the regime of Bashar al-Assad began to appear last night, exactly who was striking what was initially in question.
Evidence was pieced together fast. Observers rapidly determined that the target of the aerial attack was a regime emplacement, Tiyas airbase (also called T4), which lies in Homs governate. Continue reading
Amid the routine chaos surrounding the Trump administration, one recent change in personnel, among many in recent weeks, stands out.
After months of rumour, always followed by denial, Donald Trump announced that John Bolton, once upon a time the American ambassador the United Nations, will shortly replace General H. R. McMaster as the president’s national security advisor. Continue reading
Review – Days of the Fall: A Reporter’s Journey in the Syria and Iraq Wars by Jonathan Spyer
As the violence of the Syrian civil war increased, and as the Islamic State group (IS) crossed the Iraqi border, it was clear that the wars in these two countries would become the essential conflict of our times. Continue reading