5 Dicembre, 2022

Mediterranean Security Update

Iraq. Iraqi forces renewed their assault in west Mosul on Monday, 27th, advancing on the southwestern axis of the Old City. While the defeat of ISIS in Mosul appears to be a matter of time, the problem of Shia militias in Iraq remains one of the major security concerns. Meanwhile, Ayad al-Jumaili, arguably ISIS’ vice-commandant, has been killed in Iraqi air strikes near the Syrian border.
Syria. Syrian state TV said another group of rebels with their families are leaving the last opposition-held neighborhood in the central city of Homs under a Russia-brokered deal with the Damascus government. State TV said the round of evacuations from al-Waer neighborhood is the second one so far and involves 466 people—including 129 fighters. United States, Russia, Syrian army, Syrian opposition groups, Kurds are all gathering to launch the final assault to Raqqa; however, political and military problem are looming. Moreover, the conflict has crucially and irreparably changed local politics in Syria, and a return to the pre-2011 status quo is impossible. For any negotiated settlement to be sustainable, these changes will need to be incorporated into a new, decentralized power-sharing bargain. The U.N. envoy for Syria wrapped up a fifth round of talks between opposition leaders and the government on 1st April, pointing to “incremental” progress while acknowledging no peace deal is foreseeable.
Egypt. Six years after his ouster, Egypt’s ex-President Hosni Mubarak has been released from detention. By the end of 2017 the first batch of the Russian Ka-52 reconnaissance/attack helicopters would be delivered. As a result Egypt will improve its combat capabilities and strengthen its relationship with Russia.
Morocco. Morocco has a new government, finally. The formation of a new coalition brings to an end uncertainty which began when the Islamist Justice and Development Party, PJD, won the most seats in parliamentary elections in October 2016 but fell short of an outright majority.
Israel. Hamas has launched a manhunt in the Gaza Strip following the mysterious killing of one its military commanders, Mazen Faqha, which the group says was carried out by Israeli sniper. 
Turkey. Turkey has officially ended the Euphrates Shield military operation it launched in Syria last August. The operation involved troops, tanks and warplanes in order to support Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels, push ISIL fighters away from Turkish border and stop the advance of Kurdish militia fighters. The Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that “Operation Euphrates Shield has been successful and is finished. Any operation following this one will have a different name”.
Libya. Political and security situation in Libya remains very volatile. UNSMIL, the United Nations mission in Libya, has said that 20 civilians were killed and 4 others were wounded in last March due to hostilities across the country.

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