29th July, 2016

  • War is Boring profiles Nigeria’s tiny Alpha Jet and its role in the war on Boko Haram.
  • The UN calls Boko Haram’s violence and brutality “almost unimaginable.”
  • A former lawmaker was one of the drivers in a double car bomb attack launched by Al Shabab on the African Union’s main peacekeeping base in Somalia this week.
  • Doctors Without Borders fears famine in northeastern Nigeria.
  • Residents of South Kordofan look ahead to hunger and then starvation after bad harvests and targeting of farming areas by the Sudanese government.
  • South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir sacked his vice president Riek Machar, also his political and military rival.
  • China navigates an increasingly tricky role between Sudan and South Sudan.
  • Republic of Congo opposition leader Paulin Makaya wassentenced to two years for his role in protests against a third term for President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
  • Wonky policy read: “Demystifying intelligence in UN Peace Operations: Toward an Organizational Doctrine”
  • Mali arrested the regional leader of the Islamist group Ansar Dine, which claimed a recent attack that killed 17 soldiers.
  • In Egypt, violence toward Coptic Christians escalates.
  • Egypt will host talks aimed at breaking Libya’s political deadlock.
  • Morocco arrested 52 people suspected of being part of an Islamic State cell.
  • The UN called for a humanitarian truce in the Yemeni province of Taiz.
  • The State Department strongly criticized Israeli settlement expansion and demolition of Palestinian homes, saying Israel “is systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.”
  • BuzzFeed obtained a document showing the failed Turkish coup was motivated by displeasure with the government’s attempts to make peace with Kurdish separatists.
  • More than 130 media outlets in Turkey have been shut down as the purge and crackdown continues. Turkey even created a “traitor’s cemetery” in which to bury dead coup plotters.
  • Long read: Russian emigres in Turkey are trappedbetween the Islamic State and the Russian security services.
  • Over the past four years, Eastern European countries have sold over €1bn in weapons––from AK-47s to rocket launchers––to countries who likely or possibly sent them on to Syria.
  • Interactive: How Syrians are being killed.
  • Syrians have stockpiled an underground library of booksrescued from bombed buildings.
  • The Al Nusra Front announced a formal split from Al Qaeda and is renaming itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.
  • This move, and other developments, serve to complicate and obstruct US efforts to cooperate with Russia in Syria.
  • Syria, with Russia’s help, put forward a roadmap for thedefeat of rebels in Aleppo.
  • Evidence grows of Russia’s use of cluster bombs in Syria.
  • Civilian casualties from US-led airstrikes in Syria are on the rise.
  • The Pentagon says 10,000 pieces of Islamic State intelligence have been collected in the northern Syrian city of Manbij.
  • A suicide bomb blast in the predominantly Kurdish town of Qamishli near Syria’s border with Turkey killed at least 44 people.
  • In photos: Kurdish peshmerga forces on the front linesagainst the Islamic State.
  • Experts analyzing the unique nature of the Islamic State’s devastating July bombing in Baghdad note unique characteristics that may mean the group developed and used a new type of bomb.
  • How Iraq’s counterterrorism forces went from the “dirty division” to the “golden boys.”
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officiallyincorporated the Popular Mobilization Front, an Iranian-backed militia, into the country’s armed forces.
  • Interactive: Terror’s painfully human toll: two weeks in March, 247 deaths.
  • An Islamic State-claimed suicide bombing in Kabul killed80 and wounded 200. The targets were primarily Hazara, subject now to a long string of injustice and suffering.
  • The first half of this year saw record civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
  • A major assault is underway by Afghan forces and US special operations forces on eastern Taliban strongholds. Elsewhere in the country, they have been unable to reverse the group’s gains.
  • In photos: Kashmir under siege.
  • Russia plans to join China in naval drills in the South China Sea, having backed Beijing in an ongoing territorial dispute with the Philippines and others over the sea.
  • Analysis: The paradox at the heart of the South China Sea ruling.
  • The black market arms trade takes off in Ukraine.
  • The power and effectiveness of OSCE monitors in Ukraine as they patrol for ceasefire violations areweakened by a number of factors, including keeping bankers’ hours in a war mostly fought at night.
  • Podcast: Scholar Anne Applebaum discusses the Kremlin’s attempts to create chaos in the US election and Trump’s shady Russian business and political connections.
  • A backgrounder for the Gerasimov Doctrine––Russia’s new approach to warfare, or rather the gray areas of not-quite-warfare.
  • Leaked emails from former NATO chief military commander Philip Breedlove show he was influenced by agitators who sought to aggravate the conflict in Ukraine.
  • A potential bailout of Ukraine by the IMF is still delayed.
  • A new study suggests that search engines play an important role in online radicalization and are overshadowed in counter measures by attention to social media.
  • Photo/interactive: a year-long series by The Globe and Mail examines the lives and work of conflict photographers like Corinne Dufka, Ashley Gilbertson and Ron Haviv.
  • A new Netflix series looks at the lives of war photographers.
  • In the event of nuclear war, the BBC had drawn up plansto operate from a network of 11 bunkers across the UK.

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