Reclaiming the South: The New Regime Offensive

Over the past several weeks, in the face of stalled negotiations with rebels and regional and international powers, Syrian regime and allied forces have been amassing along the northern edge of the largely rebel-held ceasefire zone in southwest Syria. This has been a warning of an imminent attack. The ceasefire, originally brokered by Russia, Jordan,…

Regional Overview – Asia 25 June 2018

As Ramadan came to an end on June 14, the Afghan government decided to extend its ceasefire with the Taliban. The Taliban, however, resumed military operations of its spring offensive Eid and launched attacks in several provinces across the country – notably Faryab, Helmand, and Badghis Provinces. Levels of political violence increased by 38% in…

Regional Overview – Africa 25 June 2018

There were several critical developments in Africa in the week of June 17th. Key among them were the two small bomb attacks on the leaders of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe on June 23rd at political rallies in Addis Ababa and Bulawayo, respectively. The explosions left two people killed in both Ethiopia and in Zimbabwe. Several key…

Regional Overview – Middle East 25 June 2018

Notable trends, including offensives, continued in several countries, including Israel, Palestine, Syria and Yemen. Meanwhile, counter-insurgency operations by Turkish forces were stepped up both inside and outside of the country. Rocket fire and airstrikes continued to be exchanged between Palestinian militants and Israeli military this past week, with these activities making up the majority of…

Turkey Targets Refugees at its Borders

Since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, Turkey has been the main hub for hosting Syrian refugees. It is estimated that about 3.5 million refugees are based in Turkey; this amounts to approximately 15% of the total pre-war population of Syria. Due to the Turkish refugee burden, the government is pursuing a…

Has Kenya’s participation in AMISOM bolstered them as a regional power?

On 12 June, the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) partners gathered in Nairobi to evaluate the current military stabilization projects in the wake of the nine year al Shabaab insurgency (New Vision Uganda, 12 June 2018). Over the course of its 11 year existence, the 21,600-strong multinational force has engaged al Shabaab in 1,884…

Burkina Faso – Something is Stirring in the East

Since late 2016, Burkina Faso has been confronted with a growing insurgency and has suffered several high-profile attacks in the capital of Ouagadougou (ACLED, 3 March 2018). However, in recent months a new front has emerged in Burkina Faso’s far east. The Est region of Burkina Faso, and the areas of the country that border…

Recent Non-Lethal Israeli Airstrikes in Gaza Demonstrate New Strategy

Following international condemnation of Israel’s use of force against demonstrators (for more on this, see this past ACLED piece), Israeli forces have begun to use strategic airstrikes on Hamas infrastructure as a means of pressuring the group to better control border demonstrations in the Gaza Strip. This non-lethal use of airstrikes contrasts with historical data,…

Different Experiences of the 2018 Ramadan Ceasefires in Afghanistan and Jammu & Kashmir

The Muslim populations of South Asia observed the holy month of Ramadan this year with bids for peace in two of its most volatile areas: Afghanistan and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). In both places, governments sought a temporary cessation of hostilities by announcing unilateral ceasefires against militant groups. However, the outcomes of the ceasefire strategies…

The Battle of Hodeidah has started

After weeks of speculations and a three-day deadline set by the UAE for the Houthis to leave the port city, Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition launched the offensive for Hodeidah on Wednesday, June 13. Dubbed Operation Golden Victory, it is the latest name given to the attempt to recapture the Red Sea coast…