[Notice: The Critical Threats Project frequently cites sources from foreign domains. All such links are identified with an asterisk(*) for the reader's awareness.]
Below are the takeaways from the week:
The Iranian regime’s inability to respond effectively to ongoing flooding in Iran may spark a renewed wave of anti-regime protests, particularly in southwestern Iran. The flooding has killed nearly 80 people, heavily damaged infrastructure, and left many Iranians homeless. Victims, especially in southwestern Iran, have expressed frustration over the regime’s disaster management. Anti-regime sentiment will mount as flooding continues and the regime remains unable to provide aid to the victims.
The fight for Tripoli, Libya’s capital, is stalemating and will likely become a protracted conflict that will allow al Qaeda and the Islamic State to strengthen in Libya. The Libyan National Army (LNA) is seeking more support from foreign backers after its initial attempt to seize Tripoli failed. The LNA is unlikely to achieve a definitive victory, however, due to its internal weaknesses and relative parity with rival forces.
The Algerian army may be preparing to take over the country, a step that reduces unrest in the short term but sets conditions for future instability and insurgency. The army increased the suppression of protesters and journalists. The Army Chief of Staff questioned the ability to hold elections within the three-month transition period, indicating that the army may delay elections if it cannot produce a consensus candidate in time.
President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government solidified control over Yemen’s divided legislature by holding the first parliamentary session since the civil war began. Hadi-aligned parliamentarians elected a new Speaker of Parliament, replacing the prior Speaker who resides in the al Houthi-controlled capital. Parliament also passed the Hadi government’s budget. Divisions within Parliament may limit the Hadi government’s ability to take additional legislative actions, however.
HORN OF AFRICA
The U.S. conducted its first airstrike against the Islamic State in Somalia since 2017, killing the group’s deputy commander. The Islamic State in Somalia is small but may have international ambitions. The airstrike will disrupt the Islamic State’s operations, but the group will maintain its support zone in northern Somalia’s Puntland region. A border conflict and al Shabaab’s insurgency are preventing Puntland’s U.S.-backed security forces from prioritizing the Islamic State.