Yemen’s ongoing political crisis, caused by the al Houthis’ takeover of the central government, is increasing the strength of regional movements. Tribal leaders from Ma’rib, al Jawf, and al Bayda have discussed forming an autonomous region; the Hadramawt tribal alliance persists; and tribes from Shabwah and Lahij have blocked off their northern borders. These regional factions may seek additional autonomy from the central Yemeni state.
Iran celebrated the 36th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s speech supported the nuclear negotiations, but he said that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” President Hassan Rouhani also focused on obtaining a favorable nuclear deal and maintaining a unified stance during the negotiations.
Tunisian counter-terrorism operations arrested 20 members of the Abu Meriam Brigade, a new militant Islamist cell, as well as over 30 members of the Uqbah Ibn Nafaa Brigade, a militant Islamist group linked to Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia. The Abu Meriam Brigade’s relationship with the Uqbah Ibn Nafaa Brigade and Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia is not clear, but the identified leader of the Abu Meriam Brigade is affiliated with both groups.