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:
The UAE began an operation to seize al Hudaydah, Yemen’s main port for commercial imports and humanitarian aid, from the al Houthi movement, likely scuttling any current efforts to resume peace talks. The UN predicts the offensive will have a significant humanitarian toll. Coalition officials have promised a rapid conclusion to the campaign, though al Houthi forces have prepared to defend the city.
Read Katherine Zimmerman’s “The Assault on al Hudaydah: Surfacing America’s Partnership Problems” and Maher Farrukh and Katherine Zimmerman’s 2018 Red Sea Coast Offensive for a map and analysis of the offensive.
Clashes between the IRGC and Kurdish militants in northwestern Iran may increase as the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continue to expand their air campaign against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq. IRGC Ground Forces clashed with Kurdish militants on three separate occasions near the Iran-Iraqi Kurdistan border from June 8 - 10. Iran and Turkey both consider Kurdish separatists as internal security threats.
For a contextual review of recent Kurdish militancy in western Iran, read “Iran’s Kurdish Insurgency” by Paul Bucala and Shayan Enferadi.
Al Shabaab retains a stronghold in southern Somalia that will allow it to reverse recent losses as African Union forces withdraw from the country by 2020. Al Shabaab conducted a sophisticated attack on June 8 that killed an American service member and wounded four others in southern Somalia. The premature withdrawal of African Union forces will allow al Shabaab to return to terrain that U.S., Somali, and allied forces have fought to secure in recent years.