Report

Qatar Sends Troops to Yemen as Coalition Escalates in Response to Attack

Qatar has sent 1,000 troops to support the anti-Houthi coalition in Yemen, supported by 200 armored vehicles and 30 Apache attack helicopters. Coalition forces are now massing in Marib province in advance of an expected push toward the capital, Sanaa. Also during the weekend, Emirati pilots increased their airstrikes on Sanaa, which was seen as ...

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Qatar has sent 1,000 troops to support the anti-Houthi coalition in Yemen, supported by 200 armored vehicles and 30 Apache attack helicopters. Coalition forces are now massing in Marib province in advance of an expected push toward the capital, Sanaa. Also during the weekend, Emirati pilots increased their airstrikes on Sanaa, which was seen as a response to a missile strike on a coalition munitions depot on Friday. The final death toll of that attack included 45 Emiratis, 10 Saudis, and five Bahrainis.

Reports have identified a U.S. man who has been held hostage by the Houthis since March. Scott Darden, 45, was in the country working on aid delivery and logistics for Transoceanic Development. State Department officials would not confirm his identity but said they “are aware of reports that several U.S. citizens are detained in Yemen.”

Russia Dismisses U.S. Concerns about Military Aid to Syria

With concerns mounting that Russia is expanding its military support to the Assad regime in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that “these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL Coalition operating in Syria.” Russian officials responded that Moscow’s support for Assad is not new. The topic is expected to come up during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New York this month to attend the U.N. General Assembly.

Headlines

  • The French government says it is conducting reconnaissance in preparation to expand its air campaign to include Islamic State targets in Syria; so far it has only conducted airstrikes in Iraq.

 

  • Israel has begun constructing a fence along the border of the West Bank and Jordan; “We see today what happens when countries lose control of their borders,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

 

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that two British nationals working with the Islamic State in Syria were killed in a drone strike after it was learned that one of them, Reyaad Khan, was plotting an attack on British soil.

 

  • Kurdish militants killed 14 Turkish policemen near Turkey’s border with Armenia and Iran on Tuesday, and 16 police were killed in a previous attack over the weekend; over the past two days, Turkish airstrikes have killed 40 Kurdish militants in Turkey and Iraq.

 

  • Riham Dawabsheh, the third victim of an arson attack in the West Bank town of Duma that is believed to have been the work of Jewish extremists, succumbed to her wounds and was buried on Monday; her husband and child also died from the attack.

Arguments and Analysis

The domestic sources of Saudi foreign policy: Islamists and the state in the wake of the Arab Uprisings” (Toby Matthieson, Brookings Institution)

“So the essentially fragmented nature of the Islamist field in Saudi Arabia led to profoundly different responses by Saudi Islamists towards the regional turmoil since 2011. One of the few issues that all Islamist actors in the kingdom agree upon, and an issue they continue to advocate via social media and the occasional protest, is the question of political prisoners. Over the past decades, and in particular since 9/11 and the start of the jihadist insurgency in Saudi Arabia in 2003, thousands of Saudis have been imprisoned and in some cases held for years without a public trial. Estimates of the numbers of prisoners vary, some even speak of tens of thousands. Small, flash mob like protests calling for the release of political prisoners have erupted in many places across the country, including in Riyadh and Qasim. In addition, there is huge diversity of views amongst Saudi Islamists regarding such issues as the Arab uprisings, the emergence of new Islamist actors, democracy, the implementation of sharia, and the use of violence.”

 

Claire Luchette interviews Mona Eltahawy: Mona Eltahawy on Women’s Rights in the Middle East“ (Los Angeles Review of Books)

“Sometimes when a Western woman sees a Muslim wearing black from head to toe, she will want to go up to her and say, ‘Aren’t you hot? Aren’t you uncomfortable? Why are you doing this? Don’t you know that we fought for women’s rights in this country for a really long time?’ While I recognize where that sentiment comes from — I oppose the headscarf, too — my response is: Leave it to Muslim women to fight this problem. Because when someone from outside the community joins up, there’s a knee-jerk defensiveness from Muslim women, and the conversation ends. But when we lead and maintain the conversation, we who can attest to the experience, we can make all sides understand that the choice is not as simple as it’s made out to be.”

-J. Dana Stuster

SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images

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