Report

UAE Announces “War Is Over” in Yemen as Talks Falter

The United Arab Emirates announced that, in its view, the war in Yemen is winding down, possibly signaling a drawdown for its participation in operations in the Saudi-led intervention. The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said in remarks released yesterday that the “war is over” (or “practically” over, in a different ...

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The United Arab Emirates announced that, in its view, the war in Yemen is winding down, possibly signaling a drawdown for its participation in operations in the Saudi-led intervention. The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said in remarks released yesterday that the “war is over” (or “practically” over, in a different version of the speech) and that Emirati forces were now focusing on “monitoring political arrangements” and “empowering Yemenis in liberated areas.” The Emirati military has been particularly active in efforts to recapture areas of the country occupied by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and at least 80 Emirati troops have been killed in the intervention, which began in March 2015. Emirati troops remain in Yemen and are currently guarding strategic military positions.

Despite the Emirati announcement, the warring parties in Yemen seem no closer to reaching a negotiated settlement, and the internationally-recognized government is reportedly close to walking out of U.N.-backed peace talks in Kuwait. Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malek Al Mikhlafi said that the talks have gone nowhere and “are revolving in a vacuum.” Earlier this week, the release of a three-point roadmap for a settlement proposed by the U.N. Yemen envoy was delayed due to disagreements between the parties. “The gap remains wide between the two sides,” a Western diplomat told AFP.

Wreckage of Crashed EgyptAir Plane Found

Wreckage from EgyptAir Flight 804, which crashed over the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, has been found on the ocean floor using specialized search vessels. Investigators are now working to reconstruct the crash field from the wreckage to determine the manner in which the plane broke apart, and are trying to locate and recover the flight data recorder, or black box, to determine the cause of the crash.

Headlines

  • The Iranian government has charged Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual citizen who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, with plotting a “soft toppling” of the regime; Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested on April 3 and earlier this week was reportedly being held in solitary confinement.

 

  • The Islamic State is preventing civilians in Fallujah from fleeing the city and shooting those who try to escape; earlier this week, the terrorist group killed a two-year-old child while shooting at people trying to leave the city by wading through irrigation channels.

 

  • The Iranian government filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice on Tuesday to recover $2 billion in frozen assets that the U.S. government has allocated to families of victims of Iranian-supported terrorist attacks, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday.

 

  • Kurdish Regional Government officials say they are ready to negotiate a new oil export agreement with Baghdad if the central government guarantees payment of $1 billion each month; Iraqi Kurdistan stopped supplying crude oil to central Iraq last year and Baghdad froze use of an export pipeline that transits Kurdistan three months ago.

 

  • Ardit Ferizi, a hacker from Kosovo, pleaded guilty to providing material support to the Islamic State by accessing and publicly posting information about members of the U.S. military for use in terrorist attacks.

Arguments and Analysis

An ISIS Containment Doctrine” (Jenna Jordan and Lawrence Rubin, The National Interest)

“Containment is insufficient to address the full range of threats ISIS poses. Bringing Kennan back in tells us that containment is a limited strategy that doesn’t seek destruction of the enemy. It is possible to limit ISIS’s expansion and weaken its hold over territory, but because ISIS is also an an ideological movement and a transnational terrorist organization, defeat is not possible through containment. The populist alternatives, carpet bombing ISIS or launching a ground invasion, also do not recognize the multifaceted threat posed by ISIS. In fact, these solutions may do harm than good and have the potential to broaden and deepen community support for militant groups. While ISIS is a different adversary, these lessons from from the Cold War can be useful for thinking about how to best counter the threat posed by ISIS.”

 

Taking Sides: The United Nations’ Loss of Impartiality, Independence and Neutrality in Syria” (The Syria Campaign)

“As the humanitarian situation in Syria has deteriorated, the calculation of ‘playing the government’s game’ as the UN official describes it, has been justified as necessary by the UN in order to gain access to people who need aid. An evaluation of the WFP’s work in Syria writes that ‘Management judged that its interests in delivering food to the maximum number of people in need are best served by maintaining close relations with the Syrian government and negotiating behind the scenes for access.’ Yet humanitarian access has not increased — in fact the opposite has happened. Over one million people in Syria are now living under siege. The government is involved in besieging 99% of people under siege. There is severe imbalance in both the quantity and quality of aid provided in areas controlled by the government and areas outside their control. In some cases this is because extremist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS) have prevented UN access. In most cases it is because the government has purposefully punished areas outside of its control through deprivation of humanitarian aid.”

-J. Dana Stuster

SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images

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