Trump’s withdrawal does not mean victory for Russia

Following Trump’s commencing of US withdrawal of troops from Syria, there has been much talk about Russia ‘replacing’ the US in Syria. A viral video of a Russian filming an abandoned US base caused a stir and discussion over Russia’s growing importance in the region. However, given the circumstances on the ground, there is more to suggest that the ‘seismic’ …

Why would the UAE back a coup in Yemen?

Yesterday, the deputy leader of the Southern Transitional Council Hani Bin Buraik in a video called on his soldiers and allies to march on the Presidential palace. The move comes amidst tension following the deaths of Abu al-Yamama al-Yafe and a number of soldiers from the ‘Security Belt’ after an explosion during a military parade last Thursday. Although the Houthis …

Will Sudan’s army abide by civilian rule?

After mass protests, protracted negotiations, interventions from Egypt, Ethiopia, and the UAE, alongside alleged attempted coups, Sudan’s army appears to have finally reached a deal with representatives of civil society to surrender power to a transitional government. The agreement which is to last three years grants 67% of the parliament to the opposition groups that negotiated with the army, with …

Who let Haftar attack Tripoli?

Tripoli has been under attack for a while. In March, General Haftar of the self-styled ‘Libyan National Army’ launched an offensive on Libya’s capital, seeking to bring about an end to the civil strife by military force. The assault came about as the UN called for new negotiations and dialogue in order to find some way forward out of the …

The Problem With Liberalising Arabia

One of the main drivers behind support for Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman’s vision for Saudi Arabia has been his perceived willingness to liberalise Saudi society. Reforms including allowing women to drive have been welcomed, while the opening of cinemas and the hosting of the WWE Royal Rumble have been seen as signs of real intent that Saudi Arabian society …

Why the Gulf desire for US patronage?

[optin-monster-shortcode id=uwscubl6egyaovvwttxm] In the King AbdulAziz museum in Riyadh, there is a picture of King AbdulAziz and the then-king of Bahrain sitting next to each other. My guide was keen to show the picture and encouraged me to marvel at it. From my perspective, it was no different from other historical photos you might see of leaders sitting next to …