Tags » What Is It Good For

Assad finally allows that he might be in trouble

Bashar al-Assad is acknowledging what has been apparent since his forces lost Idlib back in the spring: he’s running out of soldiers to keep throwing into the meat grinder… 401 more words


Better luck next ceasefire

On Saturday, the Saudi-led anti-Houthi coalition declared a humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen. Yours truly decided not to write about that at the time, because fool me… 269 more words


Today in Middle East history: the Battle of Siffin (657)

Today we’re on the 1358th anniversary of the start of hostilities in Battle of Siffin, during the First Fitna (civil war) in Islamic history. Regular readers may have heard of it… 572 more words

What Is It Good For?

Turkey may be joining the ISIS fight for real

Earlier today, ISIS fighters reportedly attacked a Turkish border post in Kilis, killing two Turkish soldier and drawing return fire that killed at least one ISIS member. 325 more words


In Yemen, other very early Qurʾans are in danger of being destroyed

Juan Cole makes an excellent point here: while people (like me) are excited about the very early folios of Qurʾan text that were recently discovered in Birmingham, some of the oldest more complete manuscripts of the Qurʾan are sitting in the Sanaa Manuscript Library and therefore are at risk of being blown to smithereens at pretty much any moment. 493 more words

Middle East

Major victory for Hadi's forces in Yemen

Forces loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have reportedly retaken control of the southern Yemen port city of Aden, according to VP-in-exile Khaled Bahah. The Houthis are denying that they’ve lost the city, but it seems pretty clear that no more than about 10% of the city, max, is still in Houthi hands. 210 more words


Your periodic Sinai upda-HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HELL?

Wilayat Sinai, the ISIS affiliate that is currently engaged in an armed conflict with the Egyptian armed forces in the Sinai and has started lobbing rockets into southern Israel… 197 more words