Category: Middle East

Kurdistan’s upcoming referendum meets icy reception in Europe

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Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani‘s visit to Brussels last week, which was intended to drum up support for a referendum on Kurdish independence, did not produce the desired results. According to our sources, European diplomats told Barzani they…

Speculation mounts over who will head defence contracts arm

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The creation of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has shaken up procurement at the ministry of defence, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The SAMI is under the close supervision of the defence minister’s powerful advisor, Ahmed al Khateeb…

Saudi counterterrorism chiefs conduct Paris charm offensive

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Riyadh is often accused of being too tolerant of jihadist groups and is looking to change that image by becoming an exemplary actor in the fight against Islamist extremism. At the end of March, Mohammed Bin Nayef, the kingdom’s crown…

AQAP’s success increases the likelihood of it mounting an attack against the West

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Key Points AQAP is actively engaged in the Yemeni civil war alongside local Sunni tribes, embedding itself in local resistance forces fighting the Houthi Movement. By exploiting a persistent security vacuum and the absence of effective state institutions, AQAP is…

Egypt redefines national security and diplomatic priorities to align with containing jihadism and unrest risks

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Key Points Diplomatic and economic relations with Saudi Arabia will decline further in 2017 as Egypt reassesses its domestic security requirements under its weak financial position. Cairo’s regional policy is likely to be motivated by a Russian-Iranian confrontation with Salafist-jihadist…

A temporary reprieve for OPEC

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OPEC has agreed to reduce current production levels in the first such move since the 2008 global financial crisis. The deal marks a major reversal of the “free-for-all” market-share strategy that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states have adopted…

Perspectives for Israeli Gas in Southern Gas Corridor Hampered by Economic Limitations

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Jamestown: Israeli Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Dan Stav, announced, on November 6, that his country was “considering the possibility to transport its natural gas to Europe via the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline [TANAP] through Turkey.” Earlier, on October 14, Turkish…

Why Islamic State Is Clinging on to the Syrian City of Manbij

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The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) officially launched its operation to take the city of Manbij on May 31. It is one of the most strategic and difficult operations the SDF – an alliance that includes Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG)…