Daily Memo: Israeli Airstrikes, a Japanese Rebound

The Japanese economy showed strong growth in the fourth quarter.

Israeli military maneuvers. Israeli airstrikes reportedly hit a number of targets near Damascus over the weekend, though some of the missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defenses. Israel has repeatedly launched strikes against Iran-linked targets in Syria, but it’s noteworthy that the most recent ones came the day before Israel began combat readiness drills along the Lebanese border on Monday. The drills will run through Wednesday. Japan’s rebound. The Japanese economy came roaring back in the fourth quarter, growing at a 12.7 percent annualized rate. On the year, the economy shrank 4.8 percent. Japan was already sinking into recession before the pandemic struck, so its rebound was likely to have some extra zip. Turkey’s Kurdish operation. Turkey said it had completed its operation targeting facilities operated by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq’s Gara region. More than 50 targets, including ammunition depots, were destroyed in the operation. Turkey also said it had recovered the bodies of 13 Turkish citizens who were killed by the PKK in Gara. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the U.S. for releasing a statement condemning the killings, calling it a “farce” and saying the U.S. supported armed Kurdish groups like the PKK and Syria’s People’s Protection Units. Signs […]

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