Who won and who lost in the Lebanese elections?
The 6 May elections readjusted the political balance but brought no fundamental change. As before, no government can be formed without Hizbollah. To be effective in government the Shiite Islamist movement, as always, will have to reach out to partners that oppose much of its agenda. Hizbollah is not about to take formal control of the next government, however, because that move would put Lebanon at risk of losing crucial foreign support or even becoming a pariah state.
The main feature of the polls was not the Shiite movement’s triumph but significant losses for Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, which saw its parliamentary bloc dwindle by a third to twenty seats of the 128-seat parliament.… Seguir leyendo »
On 4 November 2017, Huthi/Saleh forces in Yemen fired a Burkan 2-H long-range ballistic missile at the Saudi capital, Riyadh. It was intercepted and destroyed before reaching its target. The attack occurred during a profound political shakeup in Saudi Arabia, where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to consolidate power, and amid dramatic Saudi political manoeuvrings in the region which led to the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister, Saad Hariri. Adding to the volatility, Israel has been making veiled – and not so veiled – threats about its intent to prevent Hizbollah from developing an indigenous capacity to build sophisticated precision missiles.… Seguir leyendo »
With its 9 May announcement that it has decided to directly arm the Kurdish-dominated People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, Washington has inserted itself even further into one of the region’s oldest and bloodiest conflicts: the 33-year-long fight between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is the mother organisation of the YPG and a group deemed a terrorist group by not only Turkey but by the US itself.
In fighting the Islamic State (IS), Washington has been supporting the YPG indirectly for several years and meeting with its commanders. But the decision to provide arms directly further elevates the PKK’s Syrian branch’s status.… Seguir leyendo »