The (Very Chaotic) Week in Review

By: Dhan P.

2016 Keeps Giving Us the Gift of Surprises, Doesn’t it?

The past few days have been laden with news in the wider world. The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated, Bashar-al Assad’s forces are poised to take the syrian city of Aleppo, and China stole (and returned) an American sea drone. A very, very busy and interesting week.

On December 19th, an off duty police officer fatally shot Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov as he was giving a speech at a Russian embassy sponsored art gallery. In the aftermath of the assassination, the assassin shouted “Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria!” Russia-Turkey relations, however, are the complete opposite of strained, as President Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin promised to create a joint commission to investigate the murder. Tensions have eased greatly since Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in its airspace. Negotiations between Turkey and Russia have been critical in setting up and continuing the evacuation of Aleppo. Speaking of which…

The evacuation of Aleppo has been very touch and go. The evacuation has stopped multiple times during the past few days, and there has been a lot of chaos in the evacuation. Forces loyal to Bashar-al Assad, the Syrian president, are likely to retake the city from the rebels which currently hold it. Aleppo is the last big rebel stronghold in Syria, so if and when it falls, defeat is all but assured for the Syrian rebels.

China returned a US drone it seized in international waters in the South China Sea on Tuesday, after the US basically asked China why they did it. China still hasn’t offered an explanation of why it seized the research drone, but it appears to have been given back intact, unlike a fighter jet that was forced to make an emergency landing in 2001.

And that has been the past little while in review. 2016 goes out with a bang, and hopefully 2017 will be much, much calmer. Happy Holidays everyone!

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