CTP’s Threat Update series seeks to provide you with a weekly analysis and assessment of the al Qaeda network and Iran
Below are the takeaways from the week:
Protests among Iranian merchants will continue and may expand due to the regime’s inability to resolve key economic issues. Thousands of Iranian merchants in various cities participated in protests since June 25 over high prices and the rapid devaluation of the Iranian rial. The Iranian rial has devalued by more than 200 percent since October 2017.
Read Mike Saidi’s analysis of the widespread anti-regime protests in late-December 2017 in “Iranian Anti-Regime Protests and Security Flaws: A Dataset.”
The al Houthi movement will not withdraw from al Hudaydah port under current conditions. UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths is attempting to negotiate a settlement to avoid a military confrontation for the port but is unlikely to produce a resolution acceptable to all parties. Emirati-backed Yemeni forces will assault the port city if al Houthi forces do not withdraw.
Read Katherine Zimmerman’s “The Assault on al Hudaydah: Surfacing America’s Partnership Problems.”
Salafi-jihadi groups in Mali will use the intensification of mass violence against civilians to embed within vulnerable communities. Al Qaeda- and ISIS-affiliated groups have already begun offering protection to Fulani communities amid escalating attacks by the Malian Army and tribal militias. These groups will attempt to co-opt communities and expand their areas of operations in Mali.
See “The Salafi-Jihadi Base in the Sahel” for more on the ethnic affiliations of Salafi-jihadi leaders in West Africa.