Summary: Syrian government assault on Idlib province begins. Warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe and talk of a chemical attack which would provoke US retaliation.
Summary: a long message from the “Caliph” of IS, the first for nearly a year. What does it mean? Probably continued decline of IS.
Summary: as the Syrian war ends, Syria’s role in Lebanon reasserted. Russia supports return of refugees to Syria, accuses US of stalling.
Summary: elections in 2020, but Bashir likely to remain. Fighting continues in three areas but at a reduced level. Frozen out by the West, flirtation with Moscow.
Summary: Syrian government forces to target Idlib next. Complications with Israel, Iran, Turkey, Kurds, China, US, IS. Russia in the driving seat.
Summary: the hajj next week, with the Eid on 21 August. Health, innovation, politics, crime, devotion.
Summary: details of the Saudi/Canada row clearer. Some lessons to be learned.
Summary: Hariri seeks to form a government following the May elections. Hizbullah/anti-Hizbullah split. No sign of compromise yet.
Summary: Trump backing “Egypt’s strongman”. Plans for an Arab NATO include Egypt. But the US/Egypt relationship is under the microscope.
Summary: impressions of the Vienna OPEC meetings. Complicated interpretation of the final communiqué. All more or less satisfied, price likely to settle around $75. Long-term issues ducked.