A few days after Ankara and Washington agreed to set up a joint operations center in Turkey to coordinate and manage the establishment of a “safe zone” in northern Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday that his country is determined to clear northeast Syria of Kurdish militants regardless of the outcome of ongoing talks with the US.
Almost four months on from the dramatic toppling of Omar Al-Bashir’s 30-year autocratic rule of Sudan, the military and a coalition of the country’s opposition announced earlier this week that they had finally reached a power-sharing deal.
Iran stands accused of carrying out last week’s twin attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, with more countries pointing the finger at Tehran. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that “there’s no doubt” Iran was behind these attacks and others. Washington has since announced it is sending another 1,000 troops to the Gulf as a result.
There were a number of important messages coming out of Makkah last week after Saudi Arabia successfully hosted three important summits: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab League, and Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The first message was the almost unanimous condemnation of Iran’s continuous meddling in regional affairs and its growing threat to the stability of the region as a whole. Only Iraq objected to the Arab League’s final communique, while Qatar expressed reservations over the Arab League and GCC statements two days after the meetings had concluded.
Iraq is trying to fend off the specter of being dragged into a war between the US and Iran as tensions between the two countries continue to spike. Following days of verbal and military escalation, both Washington and Tehran are trying to retrace their steps.
As the drama surrounding the so-called final battle against ISIS in Syria continues to unfold, the question on everyone’s mind is this: Has the terrorist group been defeated, as US President Donald Trump claims? Certainly not many are inclined to agree with the president, either at home or on the European shores of the Atlantic.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s admittance last week that Israel had carried out massive airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria, including a weapons depot in Damascus airport, marked a major change in policy.
Two top US officials have been dispatched to the Middle East on a salvaging mission aimed at calming allies and clarifying policy following last month’s surprise decision by President Donald Trump to pull his troops from northern Syria within a few months.