Report

The List of those Fighting Against the Islamic State Grows

Despite cultural disputes present throughout the Middle East, many are setting aside their views in order to take up arms again the Islamic State, wherever possible. The Popular Mobilization Units, a Shia-led paramilitary force in Iraq, have been working with Sunni and Shia Muslims alike to take on the Islamic State. Commander of the PMU ...

Abu Mahdi

Despite cultural disputes present throughout the Middle East, many are setting aside their views in order to take up arms again the Islamic State, wherever possible. The Popular Mobilization Units, a Shia-led paramilitary force in Iraq, have been working with Sunni and Shia Muslims alike to take on the Islamic State. Commander of the PMU Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis is on the U.S. government’s list of designated terrorists for his involvement in the Iraqi insurgency, but today he is fighting, like the U.S. and the rest of the coalition, against the Islamic State.

On the northeastern border of Lebanon, two separate Hezbollah attacks are said to have killed at least two Islamic State Commanders and at least seven other militants. A Hezbollah-run media station stated that Islamic State commander Abu Aisha al-Libi was killed during a targeted attack of a meeting being held on the outskirts of Arsal.

Tunisian Diplomats Freed by Gunmen in Libya

Ten Tunisian diplomatic staff members that were abducted last week from the Tunisian consulate in Tripoli were released by their captors on Friday. BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tunis stated that some are linking the release of the diplomats to the recent court decision to deport a Libyan military commander who had recently been arrested in Tunisia on terrorism charges.

Headlines

-Egyptian President Morsi to appeal against his conviction over the killing of protestors in 2012.

 

-Saudi Arabia and Russia signed a Nuclear Cooperation Deal to work on nuclear energy development on Friday.

 

-United Nations official hopes to announce progress toward a cease-fire in Yemen by the end of Friday, even though talks may continue through the weekend.

 

Druze villagers in the Israeli-held Golan heights fear for themselves, as well as Syrians, who are being surrounded by the Nusra Front in Hader, Syria.

 

-The U.S.-led effort to build a Syrian opposition force against the Islamic State is moving more slowly than expected due to issues vetting volunteers.

Arguments and Analysis

Bureaucracy and a Bogged-down Israeli Economy: How the Government is Responding (William Galston, Markaz, the Brookings Institute)

“The link between government policy and the well-being of average Israeli households could not be clearer, and it will be interesting to see whether the new government is up to the task of uprooting these long-entrenched monopolies.”

 

Not a Saudi Succession Crisis (Nathan Hodson, Sada Journal, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

“Regardless of what happens to Mohammed bi Salman, the transition to the next generation will come much more quickly than it would have had Muqrin stayed in office. After this transition, managing the royal family internally will get more difficult. With so many cousins to appease, whoever inherits the throne will have to make many more compromises and hard decisions than his predecessor.”

 

-Kyra Murphy

Image Credit (HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

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