By Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez
On February 3, 2018, Russian Air Force Maj. Roman Filipov’s jet was shot down while attacking rebel positions in Syria. Filipov bailed out and, after a shootout with “terrorists,” blew himself up with a grenade rather than be captured. By the time of Filipov’s funeral, President Vladimir Putin had decorated him as a Hero of the Russian Federation. The incident highlights the depth of present-day Russia’s military involvement in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Mark Sedgwick is a professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. He lives in Aarhus and has been a member since 1997.
Sara Scalenghe is an associate professor of history at Loyola University Maryland. She lives in Washington, DC, and has been a member since the early 2000s.
Shuang Wen is a research fellow at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore (MEI-NUS). She lives in Singapore and has been an AHA member since 2010.
Maria Bashshur Abunnasr is an independent scholar, historical consultant, and oral historian. She lives in Beirut, Lebanon, and has been a member since 2010.
President Donald J. Trump’s new executive order on immigration was supposed to go into effect today. The new order was slightly narrower in scope than the original—it suspended travel from six countries instead of seven, and made exceptions for certain visa holders and US legal permanent residents. It also no longer singled out Syrian refugees for indefinite exclusion from the United States—all refugee settlement, including for those fleeing Syria, would have been temporarily suspended for four months pending further review.
Mahjoob Zweiri is an associate professor in contemporary history of the Middle East in the Humanities Department and graduate faculty in the Gulf Studies program at Qatar University. He lives in Qatar and has been a member since 2011.