World roundup: August 22 2022
Stories from Iran, Kenya, Colombia, and more
Tonight’s roundup is particularly heavy on excerpts. I didn’t plan it that way, these are just the pieces that struck me as most relevant today. Partly for that reason and partly to rest my increasingly strained voice we’re going to forego our usual voiceover. For those who rely on the voiceovers, Substack’s text-to-speech function is available for Foreign Exchanges so you can still listen to this post, just without my riffing (which may be preferable frankly). We’ll get back to normal tomorrow.
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
Al-Monitor’s Fehim Taştekin suggests that the recent uptick in Turkish military activity in northern Syria is meant partly as a message to the Syrian government:
Ankara’s reconciliation overtures to Damascus have been accompanied by growing Turkish attacks on Syrian Kurdish and government forces along the border — a sign of new engagement rules in a border strip extending 32 kilometers (20 miles) into northern Syria that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to see as a “safe zone.”
The attacks resonate as a message that Ankara will not tolerate Syrian army positions that amount to indirect cover or support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and its main component, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey insists should be removed from the border strip. The SDF and YPG appear to have changed the rules of the game as well, mounting overt attacks on Turkish border posts and patrols, something they have hitherto avoided.