[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials related to other countries` foreign policies toward the Middle East. It does not reflect the views of the Foreign Polices Roundup Editors of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Foreign Policies Media Roundup to email@example.com, mentioning "Foreign Policies Roundup" in the subject line.]
Egypt, U.S. to Hold `Strategic Dialogue` in July (25 June 2015) Egypt and the United States will hold a strategic discussion in July amidst a lull in relations since the fall of Morsi. While it reinstated aid months ago, Washington has continued to condemn Egypt’s human rights practices under al-Sisi. Thus, the goal of this dialogue, is to make the two countries comfortable with each other again.
U.S. Fight Against ISIS Nears Three Billion Dollars (30 June 2015) Per Pentagon reports, Washington has spent over three billion dollars in their fight against the Islamic State.
Are the United States and Britain Blocking Middle East Allies From Taking the Fight to ISIL (2 July 2015) The United States and United Kingdom have blocked attempts from other countries to aid the Kurds in the fight against ISIS, the Daily Telegraph reports. High level officials from the Gulf stated Washington and London are working to prevent aid to groups they view as possible threats.
More Than Two Hundred Americans Have Tried to Fight For the Islamic State (8 July 2015) In an FBI statement it was revealed over two hundred Americans have joined ISIS. This statement was part of an attempt for the FBI to get backdoor access to phone records of the accused ISIS-recruits.
Deal Reached on Iran Nuclear Program; Limits on Fuel Would Lessen with Time (14 July 2015) The United States and five other countries came to a nuclear agreement with Iran. While critics, such as Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, claim that this deal will empower Iran, a view of the 109-page agreement demonstrates in some cases restrictions on Iran are increased. The biggest criticism of the agreement is that it does not check Iran’s ability to support war-leaders throughout the region.
U.S. Offers To Help Israel Bolster Defenses, Yet Iran Nuclear Deal Leaves Ally Uneasy (15 July 2015) In the wake of the Iran nuclear agreement the United States will bolster its military aid to Israel. Most likely this decision occurred to ease Tel Aviv’s fear of the Iranian nuclear threat.
U.S. Aid To Yemen Has Been Rotting Away in Virginia Warehouse for Eight Years (16 July 2015) Per The Intercept, significant amounts of U.S. aid -- humanitarian, fiscal, and military -- have been rotting away in a Virginia warehouse for eight years. Thus, the Yemeni population has never received the benefit of the material and some of it, such as food and medical supplies, is past its usage date.
After Approving Spy Gear For Egypt, Obama Admin Cozies Up To Regime (17 July 2015) Following the Egypt-U.S. “Strategic Dialogue,” Washington has decided to send spy gear to Cairo. Moreover, Egyptian citizens fear that this gear will be used against domestic opponents of the regime. This is an effort from the Obama administration to mend ties with al-Sisi’s regime in Egypt.
Senior al-Qaida figure, Muhsin al-Fadhli, Killed in U.S. Air Strike in Syria (21 July 2015) Muhsin al-Fadhli, senior al-Qaida figure who was reportedly killed in 2014, was actually killed in a recent U.S. airstrike campaign in Syria. Fadhli was a leader of the Khorasan group.
Obama Thanks China`s Leader for Role in Iran Nuclear Deal (21 July 2015) Barack Obama has thanked Xi Jinping for working to reach an Iranian nuclear agreement because China played a “vital” role.
U.S.-Turkey Deal Aims To Create De Facto `Safe Zone` in Northwest Syria (26 July 2015) Turkey and the United States have reached a deal that will create a de facto safe zone in Northwest Syria. This would result from the plan’s goal to kick out the Islamic State from a sixty-eight mile area along the West Euphrates River and turn it over to the Syrian opposition. Additionally, this plan will make it more difficult for the Kurds to establish their own autonomous state.
Iraqi Militias Train Young Teens to Face the Threat of ISIS (28 July 2015) The Iranian-backed Iraqi militias are training youth in Baghdad to fight against ISIS. This is problematic for Washington, however, because the Obama has criticized ISIS for using child soldiers. Thus, the Iraqi militias that are being backed by the United States are now engaging in a similar policy.
U.S. Preparing to Release Convicted Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard (29 July 2015) Following the Iran deal, in order to appease relations with Israel, the United States plans to reach Jonathan Pollard. Pollard, who was arrested in 1985 for spying on the United States, aided Israel against Washington’s interest and has been a sore spot in the countries relations over the past three decades.
Nuke Deal Not Intended to `Reform` Iran: Kerry (30 July 2015) John Kerry has stated that the nuclear agreement is not intended to reform Iran or their government. The purpose behind the agreement, according to Kerry, is solely to curb the Iranian nuclear program.
U.S. To Sell Saudi Arabia Five Hundred Million Dollars in Munitions to Continue Yemen Campaign (30 July 2015) The United States has agreed to a multi-million dollar arm sale to Saudi Arabia, which will be explicitly used for the Yemeni conflict. This comes in opposition to the United States’ urging of peace in the conflict.
U.S. Coalition`s Airstrikes Target al-Qaeda Affiliate (31 July 2015) Following the abduction of U.S.-backed rebels, Washington has decided to begin bombing Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate. The Nusra Front has abducted multiple U.S. backed rebels and the Obama administration had admitted this is a hard blow.
Kerry Says United States, Egypt Return to Stronger Base in Ties (2 August 2015) Following the strategic dialogue between the two countries and Washington’s delivery of spy gear and military equipment to the Egyptian regime, John Kerry has claimed the two countries are returning to a stronger base in ties. Many fear this is indicative of the United States supporting al-Sisi’s police state.
Iran Rules Out Joint Effort with US to Fight Daesh (3 August 2015) Following hopeful dialogue in Washington that Iran would serve as a partner against ISIS, the Iranian Foreign Minister has denied the reports. While the Iranian Minister claimed that they will continue to work with leaders in Iraq and Syria to fight the Islamic State they will not directly work with the United States.
U.S.-Led Strikes in Iraq and Syria Killed Hundreds of Civilians (3 August 2015) Per the British Observatory for Human Rights, U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS have killed over four hundred innocent civilians. This is in opposition to the U.S. government claims of far less casualties, with some reporting numbers as low as single digits.
Kerry: No Place for Assad in Syria`s Future (3 August 2015) During a meeting with Saudi Arabia and Russia, John Kerry made clear that “there is no place for Assad in Syria’s future.” Furthermore, Kerry made clear that he feels the Assad regime is responsible for the rise of ISIS in the region. Not surprisingly, Moscow agreed with Kerry’s assessment.
It`s Either Iran Nuclear Deal or `Some Form of War,` Obama Warns (5 August 2015) At a speech at American University, President Obama has warned that the U.S faces two options in regards to Iran: the current nuclear agreement or some form of war. In doing so he compared opposition to the deal with the decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
Pentagon Doesn`t Know Status of All of its Trained Fighters in Syria (6 August 2015) Following spending millions of dollars to train Syrian rebels, the Obama administration can not account for the location of all supported by Washington. Some have been kidnapped while others have “quit” the program.
U.S. Sidelines Its Five Hundred Million Dollar Syrian Army (11 August 2015) The rebel force Washington Spent half-a-billion dollars to assemble is not who the United States is relying on to fight ISIS. Instead, the force is a collection of Kurdish militants. This is a result of the kidnappings, deaths, and defections from the original rebel group. The Kurdish militants -- otherwise known as the YPG -- have reclaimed eleven villages from ISIS.
ISIS is Going After the US-Turkey `Safe Zone` in Syria (11 August 2015) Unsurprisingly, ISIS is attacking the U.S.-Turkey de facto safe zone established in Syria. The terrorist group has launched a new offensive against the new zone and is attempting to win back control.
U.S. Wants Drones in North Africa to Combat Islamic State in Libya (11 August 2015) The Wall Street Journal discusses one way that the United States is attempting to close intelligence gaps and embolden counterterrorism efforts in the MENA region.
Iran Still Closed to U.S. Influence After Nuclear Deal: Khamenei (17 August 2015) Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei, has claimed that Iran still is closed to U.S. influence following the nuclear agreement. This is evidence that the goal of the nuclear agreement is not to reform Iranian-U.S. relations, but rather, to avoid another costly war in the Middle East.
Yemeni Army, Intelligence Receiving Training From Western Experts for Sana`s Operation (17 August 2015) Western military experts, some from the United States, are responsible for training the Yemeni military during the recent conflict. Some of these Yemeni soldiers have also been training inside the U.S. in Washington’s military facilities.
US Weighs More Security, Withdrawal Option for Sinai Forces (18 August 2015) Given the increased activity of ISIS-affiliated groups in Sinai and the historic ties between the United States and Europe, the United States must consider new ways to engage its military personnel in Egypt’s “war on terror.”
South Sudan: U.S. Threatens Sanctions Over Rejection of Pact (18 August 2015) The White has chastised President Salva Kiir of South Sudan for refusing a peace agreement that would pause the country’s civil war. Moreover, Washington is threatening sanctions against anyone who works against the peace agreement.
Russia To Give Saudis Iskander Missile (4 July 2015) The Russians have begun to supply Saudi Arabia with Iskander missiles. This is a short-range ballistic missile system used by Russia and comes in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s fighting in Yemen.
Egypt Signs Energy Import Deals with Russia`s Rosneft (7 July 2015) Egypt has reached an agreement with Russian oil company Rosneft. This will give Egypt much needed oil and allow Rosneft to compete in the Middle Eastern market.
Egypt Buys Hundreds of thousands Tones of Russian and Ukrainian Wheat (8 July 2015) Egypt’s General Authority bought one-hundred-and-eighty-thousand tones of wheat from Russia and Ukraine. This was done to strengthen Egypt’s wheat reserves.
ISIS Launches Russian-Language Propaganda Channel (13 July 2015) In order to further expand its global influence, the Islamic State has launched a Russian-language news channel. The station is named Furat Media and is utilizing Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr to expand its influence.
India, China, and Iraq Become Biggest Russian Weapons Importers Amid Western Sanctions (22 July 2015) Following western sanctions against Russia, Iraq has become one of the country’s three biggest weapon importers.
Iran Deal Fuels Tussle for Gas Pipelines in Pakistan (23 July 2015) The Iran agreement has created a tussle for gas pipelines to be built in Pakistan. Moscow is interested in supplying the Iranian-Pakistani pipeline via its energy giant, Gazprom. Russia will use this to get closer to Pakistan in order to prove to India that it has other options in the region.
Russia Nabs Thirty Over ISIL Recruitment (24 July 2015) Russia has arrested thirty citizens accused of being recruited to join ISIS.
Russia May Revive Billion Dollar Oil-Gas Project with Syria (27 July 2015) Per Sputnik International, the Russian government is thinking of reviving a more than one-and-a-half billion dollar oil-gas project with Syria. This decision is contingent on investment risks -- those associated with the Syrian Civil War -- decreasing to the point where investment would benefit the Russians.
Two Thousand Russians Gone to Iraq, Syria Including to Join ISIL (30 July 2015) Over two-thousand Russians have left the country to join ISIS. Thus the government is working on blocking online propaganda that may lead people to be recruited towards the terrorist group.
Lavrov, Kerry to Discuss Syrian Crisis in Doha on August 3 (30 July 2015) John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov will meet in Doha on August 3 to discuss a resolution to the Syrian conflict. Ideally, these discussions will lead to the third batch of Moscow talks that seek to end the conflict.
Iraq, Russia Sign Military-Technical Cooperation Agreement (31 July 2015) Iraq and Russia have agreed to a new military agreement further strengthening their ties. This is a follow-up to Iraq being one of Russia’s biggest three weapon importers in 2014.
Egyptian Military Wants Russian Intelligence Tracking System (3 August 2015) Egyptian Special Forces want to buy a Russian tracking system that can track enemy locations through satellites. This would work in combination with the recent arms shipment Egypt has received from the United States.
Russia Critical of U.S. Plan to Give Rebels Air Cover in Syria (3 August 2015) On the same day as the meeting between the two countries regarding the end of the Syrian conflict, Russia has come out and publicly criticized the United States’ plan to provide air cover to rebels fighting ISIS. Moscow is claiming this is a way for Washington to hurt Assad and has nothing to do with ISIS.
Egypt Embassy in Moscow Works on Attracting Investment to new Suez Canal (4 August 2015) Egypt is planning to create a working group in its embassy in Moscow to attract new investment to Cairo’s Suez Canal project. The New Suez Canal is expected to facilitate traffic throughout the region.
US-Russia Agree to Act on Syria Chemical Attacks (5 August 2015) Following a negotiation on August 3, Russia has agreed to help the U.S. combat ISIS following the terrorist group’s latest usage of chemical weapons. This is important because, up until now, Russia has desired to be relatively uninvolved in the fight against the Islamic State.
Syria`s Western-backed Opposition Due in Moscow Next Week (6 August 2015) The United States’ backed Syrian opposition, who have long distrusted Russia, are due to arrive in Moscow in the coming weeks to achieve an agreement between the two sides.
Lavrov and Efforts to Promote Assad (11 August 2015) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has asked the United States to support Assad and seek the dictator’s help in fighting ISIS.
Cameron Hopes to Welcome Sisi in Britain, Strengthen TIes (25 June 2015) British Prime Minister David Cameron has communicated with Egyptian leader Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi about a desire to rekindle Egyptian-British relations. Britain wishes for al-Sisi to visit and strengthen ties between the two countries.
Yemen: The World`s Newest Humanitarian Catastrophe, and how Britain Helped Create it (4 July 2015) Middle East Eye argues that via military and financial support to Riyadh, Britain has directly influenced the growth of Yemen’s war.
British Nationals Told to Leave Tunisia Over Fears of Another Terror Attack (10 July 2015) Britain has warned its nationals who are living in Tunisia to leave by “commercial means” in order to avoid a possible terror attack.
Turkey Warns Next Wave of Syrian Refugees May End Up In Europe (10 July 2015) Turkey has claimed it is no longer able to accept new foreign refugees. Moreover, Erdogan’s government has claimed that new Syrian refugees will most likely have to go to Western Europe.
British Pilots Took Part in Anti-ISIS Bombing Campaign in Syria (17 July 2015) The Guardian discusses a recent freedom of information request that revealed the extent of the United Kingdom’s role in the campaign against the Islamic State in Syria, despite ongoing domestic debates.
Time Apt for Iran, France to Boost Ties (24 July 2015) Iran’s leader Hassan Rouhani has claimed the time is “ripe” for Iran and France to boost ties. He claimed that the new nuclear agreement, plus Iran and France’s desire to defeat terrorism across the globe, is reason enough to work together.
France in Talks with Egypt for New Corvette Sale (25 July 2015)Egypt is in talks with France to buy two more naval Corvette ships. These ships are advanced military technology that will aid the country’s government against ISIS.
UK`s Cameron Says Ready To Bomb Militants in Libya and Syria if Plot Threat Seen (27 July 2015) Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron recently claimed that Britain is ready to bomb militants in Libya and Syria if a threat is determined.
Britain is Losing Against ISIS Recruitment Tactics (29 July 2015) The New York Times reports that Britain’s government has been unsuccessful in fighting the Islamic State’s recruitment techniques. Per the report, more British citizens have left to join ISIS than our enlisted in the country’s armed forces.
Britain Quietly Resumes Multi-Million-Pound Arms Deals with Egypt (31 July 2015) Following the coup that overthrew old Egyptian leader Morsi, Britain has desired to strengthen ties with the new Egyptian regime. As two years have passed, this is finally coming into fruition with Britain agreeing to an arms deal with Egypt. This new agreement will increase the amount of British military aid to Egypt by over three-thousand percent.
ISIL Changes Tactics, Attempts to Recruit Lone-Wolf Attackers in UK (11 August 2015) In a tactical change, ISIS now wants more lone-wolf attacks in London rather than new members joining the fight in Syria and/or Iraq. This is crucial because Great Britain has had more citizens leave to join ISIS than any other western country.
Iran Targets Forty-Five Oil and Gas Projects in Plan To Boost Output (13 August 2015) Iran has selected forty-five oil and gas development projects to explain at a new showcase to be held in London next December.
Egyptian Ambassador to China to Attend AIIB Agreement Signing (28 June 2015) The Egyptian ambassador to China will attend the Asian Infrastructure Investment Signing between the fifty-seven founding members of the bank. By joining the founders, Egypt will gain many infrastructure benefits, including concessional loans and investments for the country’s construction sector.
Turkish Fury With China Grows Over the Plight of the Muslim Uighurs (10 July 2015) The Turkish government attempts to mediate demonstrations and violence in response to China’s poor treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang Province and Thailand’s recent decision to deport Uighurs back to China.
Iranian Nuclear Deal Set To Increase Trade With China (15 July 2015) The Iranian nuclear deal will increase Iran trade with China across three sectors: infrastructure, oil and gas, and health industries. Additionally, China will seek to have Iranian aid in its New Suez Canal proposal in Egypt.
Attacks on Chinese Escalate in Turkey (20 July 2015) Following anger at China’s government policies in the Middle East, attacks on Chinese nationals have escalated in Turkey. This trend has escalated especially recently during June and July 2015. Moreover, the article argues that these attacks are representative of Turkey’s indiscriminate discrimination of those who disagree with their own viewpoints.
China`s Iran Oil Imports Hit Two-month High in June (21 July 2015) Per customs, China’s Iranian oil imports hit a two-month high in June 2015. This is crucial and reflective of the eventual Iranian nuclear agreement.
China`s Antonoil Wins Multi-Million Dollar Oilfield Deal in Iraq (22 July 2015) Iraq and Chinese oil company Antonoil have reached a one-hundred-and-forty million dollar oilfield agreement. The contract covers the development of over one-hundred-and-sixty new oil wells in Iraq.
What Did China Bring to the Iran Talks? (23 July 2015) The Diplomat reports that China’s main job in the Iranian nuclear talks was to push back against the United States’s and Britain’s reluctance to curb sanctions. This gave China hope that its preferred method of dealing with international conflict via diplomacy can be successful on a world stage.
Chinese Auto Makers Leaving Iran (26 July 2015) The Chinese car company Chery’s control of the Iranian auto market has decreased significantly over the past year. This is a result of Iran gaining access to better car manufactures, and if European countries begin to take advantage of the Iranian market, China’s control will continue to decrease, mainly as a result of the poor quality.
China State Firms to Start Pumping New Oil in Iran (31 July 2015) Following the Iranian nuclear agreement Chinese state firms have begun to pump significant amounts of Iranian oil. In southwestern Iran alone, Chinese oil companies are expected to start pumping over one-hundred-thousand barrels per day.
The World Is Not Enough: Egypt`s New Suez Canal Conjoins Chinese Silk Road (7 August 2015) Egypt has officially opened its New Suez Canal which will conjoin with China’s new Silk Road project. These projects are aimed at reestablishing trade and security cooperation between Egypt and China, and more broadly, East Asia and the Middle East.
Saudi is Ceding China Oil Market Share to Russia as Iran Supply Risk Looms (9 August 2015) Saudi Arabia is currently facing challenges in China’s oil market with Iranian and Russian oil supplies rising. Saudi Arabia, at this point, seems content controlling the South Korean oil market as well as parts of Japan’s even if it does lose China’s market.
Other Countries/Middle East:
Israel Approves Plan To Build Fence Along Border With Jordan (29 June 2015) Israel plans to build a thirty-kilometer-long fence along its border with Jordan. The fence will run between Eilat and the future site of the Timna airport. The stated purpose of this plan is to “prevent the entrance of illegal immigrants and terrorists.”
Syrian Kurds Say Thwart Big Islamic State Attack on Border Town (1 July 2015) A Syrian Kurdish militia has reclaimed control of Tel Abyad. This is a key piece of land reclamation against the Islamic State.
Air Strikes Kill Nearly One Hundred in Yemen, Cast Shadow on Truce Talks (6 July 2015) Despite pressures from the United Nations, Saudi Arabia and its coalition forces continue to bomb targets across Yemen, incurring high levels of collateral damage and harm to civilians.
Tunisia Plans to Build Antiterrorism Wall Along Border With Libya (8 July 2015) Following a string of terrorist attacks on tourists in Tunisia, Tunisia’s Prime Minister--Habib Essid--reportedly announced plans to create an “anti-terror” wall on the border with Libya.
Qatar Moves to Craft a New Global Image (8 July 2015) In light of the widespread critique Qatar has received from the international community, Qatar has created a new agency to manage its image abroad.
Syria Ratifies Fresh One Billion Dollar Credit Line From Iran (8 July 2015) The Syrian Parliament approved an agreement between state-owned banks in Syria and Iran for a new one billion dollar credit line to mitigate the high costs of war in Syria.
Bahrain Summons Iran Diplomat Over `Flagrant Interference` (19 July 2015) The foreign ministry of Bahrain expresses its concern over statements that Ali Khamenei recently made about Iran’s support for the “oppressed people” in Yemen and Bahrain.
In New Sign of Assad`s Troubles, Syria`s Druze Turn Away From President (20 July 2015) This article documents the Druze and how the community has begun to withdraw support for Bashar al-Assad. The article posits that this would be a turning point in the Syrian war because it demonstrates Assad’s fragile grip on power.
North Korea Says It`s `Not Interested` in an Iran-style Nuclear Deal (21 July 2015) Following the signing of the Iranian nuclear agreement, North Korea has been vocal about not only its opposition to the aforementioned deal, but also, Pyongyang claims it would never sign such an agreement.
What the Iran Agreement Will Mean For Pakistan? (21 July 2015) The Iran nuclear deal will allow Pakistan to continue to develop its Iranian-Pakistani oil pipeline without facing western interference. Moreover, per this article’s author, this agreement will allow Pakistan to create alliances with non-Arab, regional, Muslim states, as well as Turkey and Central Asia because of the deal’s wide reach.
Turkey Stages First Air Strikes on Islamic State in Syria (24 July 2015) Turkey has begun airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria. This is an enormous development because many of ISIS’s fighters have used Turkey as transport into Syria.
Iran Seeks Eight Billion Dollar Indian Investments; Wants Expeditious Decision (26 July 2015) Following the nuclear agreement, Iran has invited India to take advantage of the lessening of sanctions and invest eight billion dollars into Iranian infrastructure. India, while contending Iran is a viable business partner, will review its options before making a decision.
Kurdish Peace `Impossible` - Turkey`s Erdogan (28 July 2015) Turkey’s leader Erdogan has claimed that a Kurdish peace is impossible. He has blamed this on Kurdish militants attacking the country.
Egypt Aims To Double Tourism Economy In Five Years (29 July 2015) By opening new offices in Dubai, the Egyptian Tourism Authority is planning on doubling the amount of Egyptian tourism in the next five years. This would drive tourism revenues up to twenty-six billion dollars per year.
Iran Deal Can Speed Solutions in Syria, Yemen: Rouhani (2 August 2015) Hassan Rouhani has claimed that the Iranian nuclear deal will allow world powers to work together and solve the crises in Syria and Yemen.
Syria Approaching De Facto Partition Amid Assad Military Setbacks (4 August 2015) Syria’s Assad has exhausted the country’s military footprint throughout the war. In late July, Assad ceded significant territory to the rebel groups admitting his military was overstretched. The Guardian posits that this will eventual lead to a partition of the country.
UAE Largest Aid Donor to Yemen (6 August 2015) The United Arab Emirates are the largest donor to war-torn Yemen, making up over one quarter of all aid to the Yemeni government. This is followed closely by the United States -- who donate sixteen percent of total aid -- and Britain -- who donates ten percent of total aid to Yemen -- as well as other gulf countries.
Damascus, Muscat to `Unite` Efforts to end Syria War: Media (6 August 2015) Following a visit by Walid Muallem--Syria’s foreign minister--to Muscat, Oman and Syria agree to work together on ending the crisis in Syria.
Container Ships Make Slow Return to Iran After Nuke Deal (6 August 2015) Following months of debate surrounding the Iran nuclear deal, international container ships begin to set sail for Iranian ports in anticipation of resuming business.
Rebel Rockets Hit Damascus Ahead of Visit by Iranian Minister (12 August 2015) Ahead of Iranian minister Javad Zarif’s visit to Syria rebels attacked Damascus. This is assumed to be a statement by the rebels that they dislike Iranian support of Assad in Syria.
ISIS is Suspected of a Chemical Attack Against Kurds in Syria (14 August 2015) Per Washington officials, the Islamic State is suspected of using mustard gas against Kurdish fighters. This issue is complicated because the Kurds suffered chemical attacks at the hands of Saddam Hussein in the 1990s.
Syria Slams UN Envoy for Criticism of Air Strikes (18 August 2015) Following deadly bombings in Douma, Syrian government officials accuse the UN Envoy to Syria--Staffan de Mistura--of “straying from neutrality.”
One Palestinian`s Refusal to Eat Puts Israel in a Bind (18 August 2015) A single Palestinian prisoner’s determination to starve himself to death unless he is freed is putting Israel in a bind. This situation is additionally important because, last month, Israel passed a law allowing the force feeding of prisoners. Israel is fearful he will kill himself and this will lead to mass protests across Gaza and the West Bank.
Libya Asks Arab League Countries to Help Battle Islamic State (19 August 2015) The Arab League has agreed to a call from Libya’s internationally recognized government asking for aid to fight ISIS.
Treaties, Agreements, United Nations, and Statistics:
U.N. Slashes Food Aid to Syrian Refugees (1 July 2015) The United Nations’ World Food Program plans to cut food aid for Syrian refugees due to budget cuts. This is the second cut in eight months and will reduce the food allowance given to 1.6 million refugees.
Yemen Expects a Pause in Fighting for Aid Deliveries (2 July 2015) Under pressure from the United Nations, Yemen’s Saudi-backed government attempts to secure a temporary ceasefire so that humanitarian aid materials can enter the country.
Tunisia: Emergency Shouldn’t Trump Rights (7 July 2015) Human Rights Watch discusses some of the implications of instituting emergency law in Tunisia and contextualizes it in the realms of domestic and international law.
Security Council adopts resolution endorsing Iran nuclear deal (20 July 2015) The United Nations announces the Security Council’s unanimous support for a resolution to oversee the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.
U.N. Security Council Endorses Iran Nuclear Agreement (21 July 2015) The Wall Street Journal sorts through different reactions to the UN Security Council’s resolution on the Iran nuclear deal.
U.N. Ship Brings Food Aid to Yemen`s Aden As Fighting Rages (21 July 2015) A ship carrying food aid to Yemen successfully docks at Aden after repeated failed attempts in the midst of fluctuating but generally heavy conflict.
Iran to United Nations; New Sanctions Could Kill Nuclear Deal (28 July 2015) Iran has warned the United Nations that new sanctions imposed under the guise of Iran’s support for international terrorism could ruin the nuclear agreement