World roundup: August 28 2023
Stories from Iran, Papua New Guinea, Libya, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
August 28, 1189: In an effort to find himself a new capital city, titular King of Jerusalem Guy of Lusignan begins a siege of Acre. It took the armies of the Third Crusade, under Richard the Lionheart and Philip II of France, to finally conclude the siege and capture the city in July 1191.
August 28, 1521: Ottoman forces under Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent capture the then-Hungarian city of Belgrade (Nándorfehérvár to the Hungarians) and destroy most of it. The Ottomans rebuilt the city and made it the capital of the Sanjak of Smederevo, and within a short time it became the largest Ottoman city in Europe other than Constantinople.
There’s apparently been an outbreak of violence between the Kurdish YPG militia and a previously allied Arab militia called the “Deir Ezzor Military Council” in eastern Syria, with at least three of the latter’s fighters having been killed on Monday. Both groups have been functioning as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces militia, which is largely controlled by the YPG but does include some Arab elements. According to the AP, on Sunday SDF personnel detained the commander of the Deir Ezzor group, Ahmad al-Khabil, allegedly due to concerns that he was engaged in independent negotiations with the Syrian government and/or the Turkish government. Either would potentially undermine the SDF’s position. The arrest sparked Monday’s clashes. This is awkward for the US, given that both of these factions—within the SDF as a whole—have been functioning as US proxies for several years.
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