The Southeastern Front of the Yemeni Civil War

After the fall of Sana’a in September 2014, forces of the Houthi-Saleh alliance seized territory south of the capital with relative ease. The Houthis managed to briefly overtake Aden by the summer of 2015, before being ousted by local militia groups and forced to retreat north. Despite prolonged, intense fighting in Al Bayda, the southeastern…

Haredi Protests in Jerusalem

Of all regions in Israel, Jerusalem district* is the most active site for political violence and protest events in the country. One major contributing factor to this is due to the frequency of anti-draft protest activity by Haredi (Orthodox Jewish) groups in the area. Urban areas generally have the highest levels of protest activity, yet…

Regional Overview – Middle East 26 March 2018

Trends in political violence and demonstrations stayed largely static this week, outside of some interesting activity in Bahrain, Iraq, and Turkey. Syria and Yemen also saw continuations of existing trends, with Syria in particular seeing ongoing offensives by government and Turkish forces respectively coming close to completion. Israel and Lebanon had a relatively low number…

Regional Overview – Asia 26 March 2018

Levels of political violence events remain static across South and Southeast Asian countries, with the only exception being Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, events of political violence spiked by over 38% while the overall fatality count dropped by almost 40% last week compared to the previous one. Notably, Islamic State militants conducted three attacks – two of…

Regional Overview – Africa 26 March 2018

Last week, key trends on the African continent included an increasing level of political violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) and in Mali, as well as a high-level attack in Egypt ahead of the 26 March elections.   The security situation is becoming increasingly precarious in CAR. Regular lootings and abductions by the Lord…

Protests in Guinea

Guinean protests became more violent as demonstrators took to the street again last week to protest against the local election results and the month-long teachers’ strike (Afrique La Tribune, 14/03/2018). Since the election, on 4 February 2018, Guinea has seen consistent waves of protest and violent demonstrations, as can be observed in the spike in riots…

Protests in Morocco

Jerada, the remote Moroccan mining city, remains the only active hotspot of protests in Morocco and is currently witnessing a period of high intensity. From the map (Figure 1) showing riots and protests in Morocco in 2017 and 2018, it can be seen that there is significantly more activity in Jerada than any other city…

Inside Houthis’ Sa’dah Stronghold

Historically the home to a powerful Zaydi dynasty and more recently the birthplace of the Houthi insurgency, Yemen’s northwestern governorate of Sa’dah has long managed to defy government control and has borne the brunt of the Saudi-led coalition’s aerial campaign throughout much of Yemen’s most recent civil war. The current conflict in Sa’dah pits armed…

Pro-Government Militia Autonomy on the Battlefield in Syria

The presence of pro-government militias during civil wars has been a prominent feature in armed conflicts across the globe, and Syria is no exception (Kishi and Raleigh, 2018). The Syrian government first mobilised loyalist gangs, known as “Shabiha,” to act against civilian opposition when peaceful demonstrations began in Syria in 2011 (Marsh and Siddique, 2011).…