Report

Yemen’s Ousted President Hadi Meets With Officials in Aden

Yemen’s ousted President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi met with state officials in the southern city of Aden Sunday, seeking to resume presidential duties after leaving the capital of Sanaa. Hadi fled his residence in Sanaa to Aden, where he released a statement Saturday seemingly rescinding his resignation, which he signed the “president of the republic ...

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Yemen’s ousted President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi met with state officials in the southern city of Aden Sunday, seeking to resume presidential duties after leaving the capital of Sanaa. Hadi fled his residence in Sanaa to Aden, where he released a statement Saturday seemingly rescinding his resignation, which he signed the “president of the republic of Yemen.” He called the Houthi takeover a coup and said the actions taken by the Houthis were “null and illegitimate.” Accounts vary over Hadi’s departure from his Sanaa residence, where he had been under house arrest since he resigned in January, and it is unclear if he escaped or was released. However, the move came after rival factions agreed on a transitional council during U.N.- brokered talks Friday. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis protested in support of Hadi across the country.

Syria

Turkey launched an operation into Syria on Saturday for the first time since the start of the Syrian civil war. Several hundred Turkish troops supported by tanks, drones, and reconnaissance planes moved into northern Syria to evacuate 38 Turkish soldiers guarding an historic tomb. The Turkish troops have been surrounded by Islamic State militants for about eight months. The site of the tomb is considered Turkish territory according to a 1921 treaty. Though, the Syrian government called the move an act of “flagrant aggression.” According to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the remains of Suleyman Shah have been moved to Turkey pending relocation to a new site in Syria, close to the Turkish border.

Headlines

  • Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for two bombings at the empty residence of Iran’s ambassador to Libya in the capital of Tripoli as well as a rocket attack on Labraq airport.
  • Egypt’s public prosecutor referred 215 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to trial on charges of forming a militant group and said they were responsible for killing at least six policemen in attacks in Cairo. In a separate trial, a court sentenced prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah to five years in prison for violating a law that bans protests.
  • Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif met for two days over the weekend to discuss Iran’s nuclear program.

Arguments and Analysis

Different faces of Turkish Islamic nationalism’ (Senem Aslan, The Washington Post)

“On Dec. 17, 2013, Turkish prosecutors started a corruption investigation into the activities of the sons of three ministers of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, businessmen close to the government, and bureaucrats. The corruption allegations later included then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after wiretapped telephone conversations between Erdogan and his son about hiding large sums of cash were leaked on the Internet. The prosecutors were believed to be followers of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic scholar who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.

The scandal exposed a conflict between two longtime Islamist allies, the AKP and the Gulen movement, which has rapidly reshaped the Turkish political scene. Many analysts have argued that the rift emerged from a power struggle. Erdogan was threatened by the growing influence of Gulenists within the state while the Gulenists were concerned about Erdogan’s increasing authoritarianism and personalization of power. While there is certainly something to this, there are also deeper reasons for the schism. The AKP-Gulen conflict also resulted from an ideological clash about the nature of the relationship between Islam and Turkish nationalism.

Inside the Islamic State ‘capital’: no end in sight to its grim rule (Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi, The Guardian)

The city has become a prison for women under 45. The regime says they cannot leave because they may be raped in areas held by Isis or other rebel groups, but most people inside Raqqa think that it is because they are desperate for more wives for the fighters.

The female brigades have put out a notice saying that anyone who wants to marry an Isis fighter should wear a white veil under their black one, and they will be contacted. Girls don’t really like them, and don’t want to marry them, but some families have economic problems.

But when the women do marry they have other problems. Some don’t even know the true identity of their husbands, only the nom de guerre; one woman’s husband was killed in battle but all she knows is that he came from Tunisia. She has no way of contacting his family, or even finding out where they are.

Isis has banned men born after 1992 from leaving the city for regime areas, to take exams, collect salaries or anything else. That means that no one can go any more, because who wants to flee to Turkey without their wife or daughters and sons?

MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images

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