Below are the takeaways from the week:
Iran may be preparing to take military action against Iraq- and Pakistan-based militants that escape into Iraqi Kurdistan and Pakistan after conducting attacks in Iran. The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) killed 11 Iranians near the Iran-Iraqi border on July 21. An Interior Ministry official warned that if neighboring countries cannot curtail terrorist activities within their borders then Iran will respond militarily against terrorist bases across Iranian borders.
Revisit the Critical Threats Project’s “Iran’s Kurdish Insurgency” for more information on Kurdish militancy in Iran.
Russia might be engaging opportunistically with the internationally recognized Yemeni government to undercut a U.S.-backed, UN-led political negotiation process. Russia’s ambassador to Yemen met with Yemeni officials after the UN envoy to Yemen met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to explain his new roadmap. An al Houthi political leader urged Russia to facilitate a political resolution in Yemen, possibly seeking an alternative to ongoing UN negotiations.
Read Katherine Zimmerman’s “Only the US can reach a peaceful political settlement in Yemen.”
Accusations of fraud and canceled votes may delegitimize Mali’s July 29 presidential election. Post-election unrest would strengthen al Qaeda and ISIS affiliates, which have sought to undermine Mali’s elections by stoking local conflicts.
Read Emily Estelle’s latest, “America Ignores Africa to Its Peril.”