Food Aid to Enter Besieged Syrian City
A convoy of aid vehicles with a month of food supplies is en route to Madaya, Syria, where residents are dying of starvation on account of a siege by Assad regime forces. The Syrian government said on Friday that they would allow aid to enter the city, but the delivery of the supplies was delayed ...
A convoy of aid vehicles with a month of food supplies is en route to Madaya, Syria, where residents are dying of starvation on account of a siege by Assad regime forces. The Syrian government said on Friday that they would allow aid to enter the city, but the delivery of the supplies was delayed on Sunday. Under the arrangement, supplies with simultaneously Madaya and two towns encircled by rebel forces, al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib Province. The arrangement is similar to the agreement for the last delivery of aid to Madaya, which took place last October. Five people died of starvation in Madaya yesterday and doctors say 200 more could die within the week.
Hospital Attacked in Northern Yemen
Four people were killed when a projectile struck a hospital administered by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in northern Yemen, according to a statement from MSF. Another 10 people were wounded. MSF did not identify the party responsible the attack, but said that all groups in the conflict were aware of the hospital. “This is the third severe incident in the last 3 months. Our teams struggle on a daily basis to ensure the respect of health facilities,” MSF said in its statement.
- Egypt’s parliament was seated for the first time since being dissolved in June 2012; the parliament is overwhelmingly supportive of President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi’s administration and was elected in November and December.
- Fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra abducted two rebel activists in Kafranbel, Syria, who had criticized the al-Qaeda affiliate and shut down their radio program.
- Dozens of Kurdish militants and Turkish security forces were killed in clashes throughout southeastern Turkey this weekend; Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has made conflicting statements in private and public about how soon curfews might be lifted in Kurdish cities.
- A new round of peace talks between the warring parties in Yemen that were supposed to resume this week have been postponed until next week, according to Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel Malak al-Mekhlafi.
- Iran has fired the security deputy to the governor of Tehran for his failure to prevent an angry mob from ransacking the Saudi embassy after the execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, according to Iranian state news.
Arguments and Analysis
“Shia-centric State Building and Sunni Rejection in Post-2003 Iraq” (Fanar Haddad, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
“As with many of the problems bedeviling Iraq in 2015, sectarian polarization and the dynamic between Shia-centric state building and Sunni rejection are cumulative issues with roots that have grown and evolved over the course of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. They are chiefly the product of a history of authoritarianism, failed nation building, and the mismanagement of communal plurality — a pattern that persists into the present. As such, although pre-2003 sectarian relations were vastly more benign than they have been over the past twelve years, they nevertheless contained the seeds of what was to follow after regime change. This was most evident in the emergence, growth, and ultimately the centrality of sect-centric actors in the pre-2003 Iraqi opposition. By making a link with pre-2003 history, the intention here is not to assign an eternal character or any kind of inevitability to sectarian animosities in Iraq or elsewhere. What has occurred over the past twelve years was neither mandated by preceding events nor, however, was it completely divorced from them. As such, any attempt to understand a subject as complex and as multilayered as sectarian relations in post-2003 Iraq will yield only partial results as long as the broader sweep of modern Iraqi history is ignored.”
“Yemen: independent intellectuals under threat” (Laurent Bonnefoy, Open Democracy)
“In Yemen, only ruins are left of the revolutionary process which raised such enthusiasm in 2011. Political and sectarian polarisation have been the outcomes of the military campaign launched by Saudi Arabia against the Houthi militias in March 2015, in addition to humanitarian disaster and a military and strategic failure. Polarisation is wiping out all independent or dissenting voices. Yemeni intellectuals are constantly at risk of acts of violent intimidation, arrest or assassination — another element fuelling radicalisation.”
-J. Dana Stuster
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