World roundup: September 25 2023
Stories from Syria, Nigeria, France, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
September 25, 1396: The Crusade of Nicopolis
September 25, 1513: Vasco Núñez de Balboa, a Spanish explorer and the governor of Veragua (a territory including the Caribbean coasts of modern Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama), leads a small detachment of men across Panama to what they knew as the “South Sea,” thereby becoming the first European in the New World to lay eyes on the Pacific Ocean. Balboa spent several years exploring his “South Sea” but eventually ran afoul of the governor of Panama, Pedrarias Dávila, and was executed in 1519.
September 25, 1962: The North Yemen Civil War begins
At the request of my wife, I’m starting tonight’s roundup with a link to the US Census Bureau’s “World Population Clock,” which sometime around 6:30 eastern time tomorrow morning is expected to cross the 8 billion threshold. Since she is very excited about this event and will be reading this to make sure I did it I will refrain from any comments about the Earth’s maximum carrying capacity at current societal rates of consumption and just say “Isn’t that neat?”
The Syrian Democratic Forces militia imposed a new curfew in parts of eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor province on Monday amid renewed fighting between it and Arab tribal militias in the region. Arab fighters reportedly seized control of the border town of Diban, or parts of it at least, killing an unspecified number of SDF fighters in the process. The SDF is blaming Syrian government forces for enabling the takeover by shelling the town and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is claiming that the fighters entered Diban from government-controlled territory. The SDF and tribal fighters began battling one another last month and the fighting quickly escalated, fueled by long standing resentments about the SDF’s administration of the parts of eastern Syria that are under its control. Outright violence had subsided over the past couple of weeks but tensions have remained high.
Elsewhere, the US military says it captured a “senior Islamic State official” during a weekend raid in northern Syria. Details beyond that are pretty sparse.
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