Maps from this past week show the latest movement in Yemen, Libya, and Somalia and activity by Salafi-jihadi operatives in the region.
This week's takeaways are:
- Libya’s would-be strongman struck a blow against the UN peace process in a bid to become the leader of the country. Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar rejected the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement and signaled his intent to run for president. Haftar will attempt to exploit political deadlock to gain support for his leadership, but the risk of armed escalation between Haftar’s forces and his rivals is high.
- The Saudi-led coalition is partnering with new Yemeni factions to seize key positions from the al Houthi movement. The coalition reached an agreement with the Yemeni Islah party to break a stalemate in eastern Yemen in support of a future advance toward Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. The coalition is also cooperating with forces previously loyal to deceased former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in an attempt to seize the al Houthi movement’s only Red Sea port in western Yemen.
- The U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Somalia is faltering because of its reliance on a hollow partner ground force. The U.S. suspended aid to the Somali National Army due to rampant corruption, which left bases empty of troops, food, weapons, and supplies. The U.S. will continue to support elite SNA counterterrorism units advised by U.S. forces.