Update and Assessment: October 14, 2015

October 14, 2015

Key Takeaways:

  1. Iranian news agencies announced the death of former IRGC Mohammad Rasoul Allah Unit Commander Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani near the city of Aleppo on October 8 during an “advisory mission” to support Syrian government forces. Hamedani’s death may disrupt Iranian efforts in Syria and possibly throughout the region.
  2. The Saudi-led coalition appears to be staging to secure positions in central Yemen in Taiz governorate, which will be a hard fight. The coalition continues to push forward with a ground offensive even as the al Houthis and allied factions express willingness to pursue a negotiated political settlement of the conflict.
  3. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) leader Asim Umar pledged allegiance to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, adding further weight behind al Qaeda’s support for Mansour’s faction in addition to the statement from al Qaeda leader Hussam Abdul Raouf urging support for Mansour from Taliban members.