Report

Islamic State Bombs Egyptian Courthouse

At least 29 people were wounded in an early morning attack on a state security building and courthouse in Cairo’s Shubra al-Kheima neighborhood. A car bomb destroyed much of the building’s first floor and facade around 2 AM; the bomber was seen fleeing his vehicle on a motorcycle shortly before the detonation. The Islamic State’s ...

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At least 29 people were wounded in an early morning attack on a state security building and courthouse in Cairo’s Shubra al-Kheima neighborhood. A car bomb destroyed much of the building’s first floor and facade around 2 AM; the bomber was seen fleeing his vehicle on a motorcycle shortly before the detonation.

The Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate, Sinai Province, promptly claimed credit for the attack, saying it was a response to the execution of six militants. “Let the apostates of the police and army, the followers of Jews, know we are a people who do not forget our revenge,” Sinai Province said in a statement circulated on Twitter.

Turkey Conducts Raids, Arrests after Attack in Istanbul

More than 40 suspected Marxist militants were arrested in early morning raids today as Turkey cracks down on the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C). Most of the arrests were made in the southern coastal city of Mersin. The DHKP-C took credit for an attack by two gunmen at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace yesterday, the latest in a series of attacks against Turkish and U.S. government targets in Turkey.

Headlines

  • Four Palestinians were abducted from a bus in the Sinai Peninsula near Rafah by unidentified gunmen, according to both Egyptian and Hamas officials.

 

  • The extended term of Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massud Barzani expired today, leaving the region’s executive office disputed.

 

  • Turkey’s election board issued a proposal to the country’s major political parties that new elections be held on November 1 to end the governing crisis caused by the Justice and Development Party being unable to form a coalition government.

 

  • A sharp rise in cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in Riyadh has forced the closure of the emergency ward at one of the city’s largest hospitals.

 

  • Two men on a motorcycle attacked a group of policemen in Sousse, Tunisia, where a gunman killed 38 tourists earlier this year; one of the policemen died of his wounds.

Arguments and Analysis

What Happens if American-Trained Rebels Commit War Crimes?” (Nathalie Weizmann, Just Security)

“Finally, by providing Syrian fighters with the means and skills to engage in war, the US also bears the obligation to ensure that they comply with IHL [international humanitarian law], even if the fighters’ actions aren’t attributable to it. Under Article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocol I (and also considered to be part of customary law), States must ensure respect for IHL by other participants in an armed conflict. States ‘may not encourage violations of international humanitarian law by parties to an armed conflict. They must exert their influence, to the degree possible, to stop violations of international humanitarian law.’ A useful and recent piece by Knut Doermann and Jose Serralvo explores the content of this obligation of due diligence, which has been reaffirmed by the ICJ as well as the UN Secretary-General, General Assembly and Security Council. The authors explain, ‘a State with close political, economic and/or military ties (for example, through equipping and training of armed forces or joint planning of operations) to one of the belligerents has a stronger obligation to ensure respect for IHL by its ally. This is precisely the underlying logic of CA 1 …’ As what can be considered an offshoot of this, the Arms Trade Treaty, which the US has signed but not ratified, reiterates all States’ obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and translates this into an explicit prohibition of weapons transfers if the transferring State has knowledge that the weapons will be used to commit certain war crimes. Short of such knowledge, a risk assessment must be carried out and the weapons withheld if an overriding risk of serious violations is found.”

 

The Role of Local Actors in Yemen’s Current War” (Sama’a Al-Hamdani, Adam Baron, and Maged al-Madhaji, Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies)

“Political spokespeople and media pundits alike have suggested that a Houthi military defeat will result in the restoration of the pre-Houthi expansion era. However, with Yemen’s government abroad and state institutions all but evaporated, non-state actors are now competing for domestic legitimacy in the power vacuum. In the span of five months, armed non-state actors affiliated with the ‘Popular Resistance’ have managed to claim momentous authority in their local territories and para-state entities have been fortified, notably the Hirak Movement, AQAP and the Islamic State. Even if the Houthis are defeated, the central government will have to reckon with — or accommodate — various non-state actors to attain and maintain its power. The sooner this war is stopped, the less entrenched these localized centers of military and political power will be, and the greater the chance the central government will be able to reconstitute itself, gradually reassert its authority across the country and stabilize Yemen.”

-J. Dana Stuster

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

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