5 Dicembre, 2022

Mediterranean Security Update

Iraq. Iraqi security forces have pushed deeper into western Mosul, gaining control of a neighborhood along the Tigris River and the foot of one of the city’s five bridges amid intense clashes with ISIL fighters. ISIS is now completely surrounded in the east part of the city, but the fight will still continue for a long time because the main problem is the control of the city after the battle. Iraqi forces have also retaken the main government offices in Mosul paving the way for an attack on the heavily-populated old city. Meanwhile on 6 March Baghdad hosted the 6th Security and Defense Fair where military vehicles and weaponry were displayed.

Egypt
. The security situation in Sinai remains very volatile. On 27 February ISIS abducted four men accused of collaborating with the government killing two of them.

Syria. On 25 February a series of suicide attacks on military installations in Homs are killed 32 people, including the army’s intelligence chief General Hassan Daabul – a close confidant of President Bashar al-Assad. Despite diplomatic progresses in Astana and Ginevra, Syria conflict remains very violent and the U.S. involvement is increasing. In fact, on 05 March, American Stryker Armored Vehicle have been spotted northern of Manbij, and in the same area are operating even Russian soldiers in what appears the closest encounter between the two Powers. Moreover, the top American military officer met on 7 March with his Russian and Turkish counterparts to discuss how to avoid an unintended confrontation in Syria.

Libya. On 3 March the leader of the international recognized Libyan government, Fayez al-Sarraj, has visited Moscow in order to meet top Russian diplomats. The Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) have captured five cities and two major oil-producing areas (Es Sider and Ras Lanuf) in the east of Libya controlled by Haftar forces. This could represent a major setback for Haftar that could weaken his position as a negotiator in possible future political talks.

ISIS. The Islamic militia is in retreat; however, it is still able to conduct attacks and to innovate its warfare. On the one hand, it is very well-known that ISIS has increased its use of drone during the battle of Mosul, as a result Iraqi security Forces also started to use commercial drone to fight ISIS. On the other hand, recent reports suggest that ISIS has used chemical weapon in Mosul. However, ISIS has used chemical weapons in the past both in Iraq and in Syria.

Merkel. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has held talks with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Egypt and then has visited Tunisia as part of a broader tour to enhance German investments in Africa, decrease the flow of migrants to Europe, and increase intelligence-sharing to combat terrorism.

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