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.
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.
Yemen – Houthi withdrawal in Hudaida a small first step. The war goes on. Some unease among the arms suppliers.
US military task force to the region. Pompeo tells Iraqis there is a threat from Iran to US forces there.
Trump moving to blacklist the Muslim brotherhood – likely consequences including Turkey and several Arab states.
Saudi Arabia criticised for women and Khashoggi trials, mass execution of 37, etc. but big business and Trump still loyal.
Haftar’s offensive halted around Tripoli. A Trump bombshell.