As global temperatures climb, Basra is experiencing temperatures hovering at 50 degrees while suffering severe water shortages; delays in a massive desalination project are making an already intolerable situation worse.
As uncertainty hovers around the Biden administration’s approach to the Middle East, Samuel Ramani, a non-resident fellow at Gulf International Forum reflects on Vladimir Putin’s MENA strategy. This is a transcript, edited for clarity and length, of a recent podcast conversation with Arab Digest editor William Law. The podcast is available here.
Severe shortages of water are causing suffering to residents of Kurdish-controlled north-eastern Syria, while affecting wheat production and threatening bread supplies across the war-divided country.
The battlefield success of Turkish drones in Libya, Iraq and Syria are changing the way that Middle East wars are being fought and regional geo-political ambitions are being realised.
The Assad family and Hezbollah have used the Syrian civil war to build a thriving industry in illicit drugs and in doing so have turned the country into a narco-state
Amidst continuing security concerns, conflict zones in MENA have assured that the region remains the globe’s top armaments importer.
Arab Digest · Putin powers ahead in the Middle East
Arab Digest · The MBZ Pivot
Heroin mostly enters the Arab world from Afghanistan via Iran enroute to markets in Europe. Arab countries close to the main smuggling routes are the most impacted by the trade. The Syrian war has led traffickers to re-route heroin shipments via the Black Sea and Africa.
With the US pivoting to Asia, the actions of regional players may be the key to helping to stabilise the Middle East.