Mayoral elections do not go Erdoğan’s way, his first experience of the tendency of the democratic pendulum to swing. A test for Turkish democracy.
Saudi Arabia – the women activists and Khashoggi trials cast a long shadow.
Trump announces a U-turn on the Golan Heights. General condemnation. A boost for Netanyahu’s election prospects.
Syria- IS fighting in the last ditch, outside powers manoeuvring for advantage.
sectarianism is a symptom of the problem, not the underlying problem itself. Many of the region’s conflicts are more about ethnic identity and nationalism, but Arab dictators use sectarianism to bolster their positions.
Iraq – still no government but a budget agreed. Clumsy statement by Trump on Iran.
Confusion about the future of US action in Syria as Trump’s announcement of withdrawal is seemingly undermined.
Trial of 11 unnamed persons for the Khashoggi murder begins. Any stick will now do to beat Saudi Arabia.
Iraq politicking – no government six months after the election. Trump’s undiplomatic visit. IS ruination – the fight continues.
Turkey still poised to extend its invasion of northern Syria, but faces uncertainties with US and Russia.