Update and Assessment: December 2, 2015
By The Editors
December 2, 2015
- Iranian officials continue to voice their opposition to peace plans for regional crises that involve the partitioning of Iraq or Syria. Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei claimed that the reconstitution of borders would be “detrimental to Muslims” and stated, “We have clearly said that absolutely no border must be changed and that no country can be broken apart.” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meanwhile, warned of foreign plots to undermine Iraqi national unity during a meeting with Iraqi President Fuad Masum in Tehran.
- An outright military victory in Yemen grows increasingly unlikely as the Saudi-led coalition shifts from combat to stabilization operations. The UAE is training Colombian mercenaries and Eritrean forces to replace Emirati combat troops in Yemen, and Emirati Special Forces troops are focused on securing only Aden and its immediate environs. The primary frontlines in central Yemen remain fixed along lines of support in the human terrain, and the coalition is focused on maintaining its current positions against al Houthi-Saleh counterattacks.
- Al Shabaab is taking advantage of Kenyan-Somali tensions to cross the border and expand its operational and recruitment capabilities in Kenya. Militants stormed at least two villages in Kenya this week, raising flags and preaching to residents before evading security forces and crossing back into Somalia. Al Shabaab will likely exploit this freedom of movement to drive recruitment in the border region and conduct attacks within Kenya.