Two tankers attacked and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman. Pompeo again accuses Iran.
Stockholm peace process for Hudaida continues, but so does escalation of the war with Houthi attacks on Saudi territory. Two more tankers hit. Since our posting of 13 May the war in Yemen has continued unabated, not only between the Houthis and the Saudi led coalition forces; Al Qaeda and IS remain active, though largely against each other. Pro-coalition statements routinely describe the Houthis as “Iran backed“, but independent commentators argue that while there is certainly Iranian involvement the Houthi/Iranian relationship is pragmatic and limited. The war has increased …
Since the beginning of the year, the development of relations between Iraq and Turkey has gained real momentum. The focus is on trade, water and the reconstruction of Iraq.
Three summits, three talking shops. Boilerplate on Palestine. Hard line on Iran rejected by Iraq and Qatar
Three summit meetings in Mecca next week may strengthen Saudi leadership of the Arab and Muslim world. Elsewhere there is much to do.
Syria – IS eliminated as a territory. Regime still seeking full control, but (about) five other armies have their own agendas.
Four oil vessels damaged off Fujaira. Little detail – no casualties or pollution. No claims of responsibility.
US military task force to the region. Pompeo tells Iraqis there is a threat from Iran to US forces there.
The decision not to extend waivers on buying Iranian oil further underlines the Trump Administration’s determination to continue to hit Tehran hard, even at the risk of damage to other important issues, both domestic and international.
The IS threat justifies US military presence in Iraq – just. Sectarian violence down.