Egypt – Strategic Pivot of the Islamic State

Less than two months before the next Presidential elections, the Egyptian Armed Forces on 9 February launched a counter-militancy campaign called ‘Operation Sinai 2018’ to take on the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula but also to secure the border to Libya in the Western Desert. The operation involves increased air force sorties, the closure…

Mali – the “de-regionalization” of armed rebellion

Since October 2017, attacks by the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) on military and civilian targets increased. JNIM has officially claimed roughly twelve operations per month since that period. In the preceding six months (from March-September 2017), JNIM’s focus shifted south, especially to the Mopti region, while the number of violent events…

Somalia – Has the recent western involvement in Somalia been effective?

Since July 2017, the United States-AFRICOM has dramatically escalated activities in Somalia. This involvement relies heavily on the use of unmanned drones, typically targeting high-profile al-Shabaab figures. Over this period, the US has conducted 44 known air strikes, resulting in nearly 400 fatalities (see Figure 1). US land force numbers have increased steadily, with officials…

Yemen – The Battle of Aden

In early May of 2017, Yemen’s President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi sacked Aden’s provincial governor Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi and the southern state minister Hani bin Braik, prompting demonstrations in the streets of the southern city.  A series of protest events recorded in the city of Aden throughout 2017 exemplified long-running frustrations in regards to the Hadi-led government…

Yemen – The Battle of Sana’a

In December 2017, Yemeni capital Sana’a was the site of a major confrontation between pro-Houthi and pro-Saleh forces, former allies in the war against the Saudi-backed coalition. The Houthi-Saleh alliance materialized in 2014, when army units and tribes loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh facilitated the Houthi seizure of Amran and Sana’a. Despite initial…