[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:
Russia and Iran are engaging in the Yemen peace process to reduce U.S. influence in the region. Russian and Iranian *officials increased *their diplomatic *engagements regarding Yemen in October, including separate meetings with Oman's foreign minister on October 16, and are *meeting in Moscow to discuss Yemen. The timing of their meetings in Oman and simultaneous increase in diplomatic engagements indicate that Iran and Russia are coordinating their diplomatic efforts.
ISIS-affiliated militants are attempting to mobilize support in West African countries where al Qaeda has conducted previous outreach. A pro-ISIS forum heralded an “awakening” in Guinea, Senegal, Niger, and the Gambia, and ISIS’s West African branch eulogized a Gambian militant. Militants in Burkina Faso have extended their operations toward the Gulf of Guinea. Fighters from ISIS in Libya, which has weakened since 2016, may return to form cells in their home countries.
Recent political progress in Libya is superficial. The UN-backed government imposed long-awaited security arrangements in Tripoli, but retaliatory assassinations by militias will lead to renewed violence. Efforts to unify Libya’s security forces have also resumed, but rising tensions between the UN-backed government and an eastern Libyan tribe may derail them. Rival legislative bodies reached an agreement to restructure Libya’s executive council but are unlikely to agree on appointees.