Below are the takeaways from the week:
- Iran’s Parliament allocated an additional $140 million to two budgetary line items tied to the country’s ballistic missile program. The budgetary increases follow President Donald Trump’s May 8 decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal over concerns of Iran’s ballistic missile program. Regime officials are unlikely to make concessions on missile capabilities despite the increased international pressure following Trump’s decision.
- A controversial military campaign in Libya may strengthen Salafi-jihadi groups. The Libyan National Army (LNA) began an Egyptian- and Emirati-backed campaign to seize Derna, the last anti-LNA bastion in northeastern Libya, after abandoning the potential for negotiations with Dernawi groups. Salafi-jihadi forces in Derna rebranded in an effort to gain broader support from anti-LNA factions throughout the country. The LNA’s insistence on a military victory in Derna will strengthen armed Islamist groups in the city and draw LNA security resources away from central Libya, where ISIS is increasingly active.
- The Saudi-led coalition began an offensive to advance the frontline north along Yemen’s Red Sea coast in order to seize al Hudaydah port. Coalition air and armored support will likely enable the offensive to progress in the near term through flat and lightly populated areas of southern al Hudaydah. The offensive may stall as it encounters more fierce resistance and densely populated territory near al Hudaydah port, however. An increase in coalition operations against the al Houthi movement may also draw resources away from the counterterrorism effort and provide AQAP with an opportunity to recover from recent setbacks.