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The ambiguities of decapitating terror networks

Before the tragic news about Steven Sotloff broke, the big terror-related story of the day was about a US airstrike in Somalia that targeted, and may very well have killed, Moktar Ali Zubeyr, also known as Ahmad Abdi Godane or just “Godane,” the leader of the Al-Shabaab terror network. 536 more words


Another American journalist murdered by the Islamic State

This story is still technically unconfirmed, but it seems very likely that the Islamic State has murdered American journalist Steven Sotloff. They had threatened Sotloff’s life in the same video in which they murdered James Foley on August 19 and, it should be noted, may very well have murdered Sotloff at the same time as Foley and simply waited to release the tape. 544 more words


Today in History: the Nazi invasion of Poland (1939)

Today is Labor Day, which doesn’t have any particular significance in terms of Middle East history but is obviously an important day to reflect on the history of labor and the labor movement in shaping our society. 289 more words


Russia's long-awaited invasion of Ukraine looks to have arrived

Yesterday Ukraine declared, with video to back it up, that they’d captured 10 Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory — not Russian paramilitaries, not Ukrainian militias who had been trained and/or equipped by Russia, but genuine, regular Russian soldiers. 632 more words


Israel, Hamas agree to do this all again sometime

Well, this was worth busting in on vacation to mention: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have agreed to an Egypt-brokered, open-ended ceasefire agreement. The terms reportedly include the easing of the blockade on Gaza, reduction of the buffer zone that Israel imposed inside Gaza’s borders, an extension of Gaza’s permitted fishing zone in the Mediterranean from 3 miles to (eventually) 12 miles, and immediate aid to rebuild Gaza. 753 more words


Mosque attack in Diyala sets back the cause of Iraqi unity

This kind of thing just makes it harder for Baghdad to bring unhappy Sunnis back on side:

At least 73 people have been killed after a Shia Muslim armed group opened fire inside an Iraqi Sunni mosque in the village of Bani Wais in the country’s eastern Diyala province, medical sources have said.

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