Update and Assessment: November 18, 2015

November 18, 2015

Key Takeaways:

  1. Senior Iranian officials censured President Hassan Rouhani for criticizing the IRGC’s arrests of individuals suspected of promoting foreign influence, indicating that disagreements over how to block foreign influence will continue alongside greater crackdowns. 
  2. Tensions between Somalia and Kenya are high due to border disputes and allegations that Kenyan military figures participated in al Shabaab’s illegal smuggling operations. The Somali parliament passed a motion to expel both regular Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) units and the KDF’s African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) contingent from Somalia. A breakdown in cooperation among security forces will provide opportunities for al Shabaab to expand.
  3. Malian forces under Operation Seno conducted successful clearing operations in central Mali, with particular success against the Macina Liberation Front (MLF), associated with the AQIM-affiliated Ansar al Din. The MLF will continue to retaliate against Malian and UN security forces.