Submitted by Elisa Cherry on Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:33

10/03/2019-14/03/2019

Bi-Weekly insights is a non-exhaustive snapshot of regional, and international news regarding the politics of the Middle-East region. Selections demonstrate varying perspectives and opinions from Arabic and English media sources. Taking such an approach enables regional trends to be observed and documented so they may be used and applied in our detailed research projects.


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Regional Overview

Ceasefire violations are a continuing issue throughout Yemen and Syria. Disputes in Idlib continue, despite the Russian and Turkish patrols in the area. Yemen faces violations throughout the country as fighting in the Hodeidah area continues between the Houthi rebels and the coalition forces. The United Nations Security Council expressed concern about the poor implementation of the Stockholm Agreement.

Syria


A terrorist site near Idlib which was linked to al-Qaeda has been destroyed by army forces who launched rocket shells, killing several suspected terrorists (Sana News).[1] Heavy fighting in Baghouz resulted in the killing of nearly 40 ISIS fighters as a US-led mission tries to regain the region (Al Jazeera).[2] The SDF claimed that 3,000 ISIS militants surrendered from Baghouz as the battle is reaching its ‘final moments’ (CNN; Telegraph)[3]. In addition, protests in Daraa begin as the return of a statue of former President Hafez al-Assad is brought back to the city (Enab Baladi)[4] Turkish patrols have moved into Idlib after an agreement between the Russians and Syrians tries to demilitarize the area (Enab Baladi; Sputnik News).[5] This news comes as ceasefire violations continue in the area, and the attempt to de-escalate fighting seems to falter.

The third annual conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria” took place in Brussels this week.[6] Donors from more than 50 countries pledged a record $7 billion in support for Syrians, an initiative welcomed by the United Nations (UN News)[7]. The EU pledged € 1.5 billion for Turkey to contribute in helping Syrian refugees while Federica Mogherini emphasized that Syria’s Conflict is not yet over (TRTWorld)[8].

Yemen


Yemen is gathering international attention this week in the United Nations. The Security Council voiced their concerns for the failure of the peace negotiations in Yemen, as local commitment to implement the Stockholm agreement falters (The National; The Algemeiner).[9] Fighting in Hodeidah continues, as both sides violate the ceasefire, making it difficult to implement the Stockholm agreement, despite international pressure (Saba News A).[10]

The Houthi militias have increased the oil prices by nearly 15 percent this week, from 325 to 365 riyals per liter (Asharq Al-Awsat).[11] The government has warned that this could further the economic crisis in the country, as they sell the oil on the black market (Saba News B[12]; Asharq Al-Awsat). [13] In the Hajjah Kushar district, in the Northwest of Yemen, fighting continues between the Houthis and the coalition forces killing over 20 women and children (Al Jazeera).[14]