Fighting in Yemen Escalates as Prospects for Talks Collapse Again
U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is returning to Riyadh for meetings with Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Hadi issued new preconditions for negotiations this weekend, effectively scuttling peace talks set to begin this week. The latest collapse of prospects for a negotiated resolution to the conflict comes as Saudi-led ...
U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is returning to Riyadh for meetings with Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Hadi issued new preconditions for negotiations this weekend, effectively scuttling peace talks set to begin this week.
The latest collapse of prospects for a negotiated resolution to the conflict comes as Saudi-led coalition forces escalate their offensive in Marib province ahead of an expected push to retake the capital, Sanaa. More than 2,000 civilians have been killed over the past five months and 80 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations. U.N. Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called yesterday for an independent inquiry into human rights abuses conducted by both sides of the conflict.
Mexican Tourists Were Killed by Attack Helicopter
New details have been reported about the Mexican tourists who were killed on Sunday when they were mistaken by the Egyptian military for militants. The tourists had been picnicking on a tour southwest of Cairo when they were assaulted by an Apache attack helicopter. Egypt’s military has refused to discuss the incident, directing questions about “tourists” to the Ministry of the Interior which has claimed the tourists had entered a restricted area.
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- Clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters continued for a third day at the al-Aqsa mosque; Israeli Prime Minister is scheduled to hold an emergency ministerial meeting this evening.
- At least 33 people have been killed in a series of three bombings in Hassakeh, Syria, for which the Islamic State has claimed credit; Hassakeh is currently divided between Kurdish and Assad regime control.
- A Kuwaiti court sentenced seven people to death for their role in a mosque bombing in June orchestrated by the Islamic State; an additional eight defendants received prison sentences and 14 were acquitted.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the military support he is providing to the Assad regime, saying, “Without an active participation of the Syrian authorities and the military, it would be impossible to expel the terrorists from that country and the region as a whole, and to protect the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional Syrian people from destruction.”
- On a visit to Beijing today, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he would like to see greater Chinese involvement in the Middle East; “We would like to cooperate with China on issues in Yemen, Syria and the Middle East, seeking a political solution,” Zarif said.
Arguments and Analysis
“Lebanese protesters united against garbage…and sectarianism” (Basel F. Sallouk, Monkey Cage)
“Indeed, we should not underestimate the sectarian system’s political economy and ideological hegemony: Too many people continue to benefit from the sectarian system’s neopatrimonial networks. The system distorts their incentive structures, creating an environment of general lawlessness that protects all types of criminalities. The sectarian/political elite possess substantial institutional, material, legal and para-legal coercive capabilities. Their ideological hegemony, albeit not immune to challenge, remains strong, cemented by a network of corporatist institutions deployed to produce disciplined and docile sectarian subjects. Their ability to mobilize crowds in the name of the sect still outnumbers those of civil activists, at least for now. Their strategy vis-a-vis the protesters and sit-ins includes a combination of containment, infiltration, counter-mobilization, disinformation and, ultimately, brute force. Their aim is to turn this latest challenge to their sectarian political economy and ideological hegemony into a late summer ephemeral nightmare. And yet this is precisely why the struggle against Lebanon’s sectarian system must be invariably creative and protractive — a series of ever-growing practices of resistance rather than a lightning strike.”
“State, Foreign Operations, & Related Programs: Appropriations Bills, FY16” (Cole Bockenfeld, Project on Middle East Democracy)
“When the administration announced a resumption of aid to Egypt in April 2015, U.S. officials also announced they would continue to request $1.3 billion in annual military assistance for Egypt. Congressional appropriators match that request and renew Egypt’s annual bilateral military assistance at $1.3 billion in FY16. Senate appropriators renew their FY15 approach on conditionality for Egypt’s military aid package, which includes a national security waiver that has undermined the effectiveness of such conditions. In an effort to signal ongoing congressional concern about the state of human rights and reform in the country, both bills include reporting requirements that would require the administration to submit assessments of the internal situation in the country.”
-J. Dana Stuster
MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images