As Israel intensifies air-strikes in the Gaza Strip, a northern front appears to be opening in the war. Escalating cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces have led to the displacement of over 4,200 people in south Lebanon, and authorities have designated some 100 kilometers of the border with Israel a military zone. Inhabitants pf the border region have retreated deeper into Lebanese territory to avoid entanglement in the ongoing skirmishes. In the southern port city of Tyre, authorities have converted three school facilities into makeshift refuges for the displaced. (Jurist)
Nearly 30 internally displaced persons (IDPs) were killed in a Burmese junta drone strike on a village near the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the parallel National Unity Government (NUG) reported Oct. 10. The attack, which killed several children, appeared to target an IDP camp where some 500 were sheltering in the village of Munglai Hkyet. The village lies just outside the town of Laiza, which is the capital of the KIA's autonomous zone in remote Kachin state. The drone attack came almost exactly a year after regime warplanes carried out a deadly air-strike on a music festival at nearby A Nang Pa village, Hpakant township, celebrating the 1960 founding of the Kachin Independence Organization. The KIA's Col. Naw Bu accused the junta of a "genocidal act of militarism towards our ethnic people." (Myanmar Now, Jurist)
Mali's army is advancing in a large column toward the strongholds of a coalition of Tuareg armed groups in the country's north, signalling an intensification of the conflict that erupted in August. Fighting has been reported close to the town of Anefis, which is around 110 kilometers from Kidal, the main base of the rebels. The former separatist groups signed a peace agreement with Malian authorities in 2015, but relations soured under the current junta-led government, which views armed-group control over northern territory as undermining state sovereignty. Tensions escalated after the junta demanded the withdrawal of a UN peacekeeping mission, and its forces started taking over Blue Helmet bases in northern areas claimed as autonomous territory by the Tuareg coalition. The military convoy is now reportedly seeking to take over former peacekeeper camps in Kidal, Aguelhok, and Tessalit, risking further fighting.
Ukrainian special forces were apparently behind a series of drone strikes and coordinated ground operation directed against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) near Sudan's capital Khartoum last week, a CNN investigation has found. An unnamed Ukrainian military source told CNN the operation was the work of a "non-Sudanese military." Pressed on whether Kyiv was behind the attacks, the source stated: "Ukrainian special services were likely responsible." The RSF, which took up arms against the ruling junta in an evident effort to derail Sudan's planned democratic transition in April, is believed to be backed by Russia's mercenary Wagner Group.
In Episode 186 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg examines the coup d'etat in Niger, which now threatens to plunge West Africa into regional war—with potential for escalation involving the Great Powers. Lines are drawn, with the Western-backed ECOWAS demanding the junta cede power, and Russian-backed Mali and Burkina Faso backing the junta up. Pro-junta demonstrators in Niger's capital, Niamey, wave the Russian flag—probably to express displeasure at US and French neo-colonialism. The Wagner Group, which already has troops in Mali and Burkina Faso, has expressed its support for the junta, and offered fighters to help stabilize the regime. Elements of the tankie pseudo-left in the West are similarly rallying around the junta. Amid this, leaders of the Tuareg resistance in Niger have returned to arms to resist the new regime, and the country's mine workers union is also demanding a return to democratic rule. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
Ethiopia's government on Aug. 4 declared a state of emergency in Amhara state over ongoing clashes between the federal army and local Amhara Fano militiamen. The Ethiopian army and the Fano militia were allies in the two-year war in the northern Tigray region. Their relationship later deteriorated, in part over recent efforts by federal authorities to disband regional paramilitary groups. (Jurist, Al Jazeera)
At least 13 people, nine of them civilians, were killed in Russian air-strikes within the so-called "de-escalation zone" in northern Syria's Idlib province June 25. The raid struck the village of Basbat, west of Jisr al-Shughur, according to the White Helmets rescue group and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). At least 30 people were also injured in the strike, with the death toll likely to rise. The three Russian warplanes took off from Khmeimim air base in Latakia province. Some of the strikes hit a crowded vegetable market.