As Turkey, Russia and the US weigh up their options, a shaky ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province may be about to end.
Summary: when set against today’s reality a snapshot of MENA in July 2000 proves a grim comparison. So are there any grounds for hope and optimism?
While the world is focussed on the Covid-19 pandemic ISIS is quietly reassembling infrastructure, financial and otherwise, that will enable it to rebuild its global terror campaign.
Syria – US permits and then opposes Turkish assault on the Kurdish north. Fears that IS may rise from the ashes.
Haftar’s military operation to take Tripoli seems to have failed. His foreign supporters. Need for an international conference and a political solution.
Syria – inconclusive fighting in Idlib province and elsewhere. Peace talks not dead.
Tunisia – President Essebsi survives a health crisis. Jihadi attacks. Economic problems breed discontent.
Ghazouani peacefully elected as president of Mauritania in place of Abdel Aziz – no change. Economy doing well.
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 …
Libya – descent into civil war. Oil revenue and drinking water supplies under threat.