Update and Assessment: February 24, 2016
By The Editors
February 24, 2016
- Prominent Iranian Reformists’ mobilization of votes for more centrist candidates in the Assembly of Experts and parliamentary elections on February 26 could help centrist politicians win the additional seats they need in both bodies to sideline their hardliner opponents. Many reformist candidates had sought to run in both elections until the Guardian Council, or the body charged with vetting electoral candidates, disproportionally disqualified them.
- U.S. airstrikes targeted an Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) training camp near Sabratha in northwestern Libya. The strikes killed over 40 militants, including a Tunisian ISIS operative linked to the March 2015 Bardo Museum attack in Tunis. Targeted strikes may temporarily disrupt ISIS’s ability to plan and launch spectacular attacks in the region, but the group maintains an experienced leadership cell in Libya and will be able to regenerate capabilities.
- Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointed General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar as deputy commander of Yemen’s Armed Forces. Ali Mohsen, the former commander of Yemen’s powerful First Armored Division, is a powerbroker whose support Hadi requires to contest the al Houthi-Saleh alliance in northern Yemen. Ali Mohsen’s appointment probably indicates the coalition will prioritize actions to further isolate the al Houthi-Saleh alliance in northern Yemen and to apply pressure directly on the capital, Sana’a.