April 26 - May 2
Saudi Arabia Releases Prisoners
On Thursday, April 28, the Saudi Press Agency released a statement from the Official Spokesperson of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen announcing that “the Joint Forces Command of the Coalition will release (163) Houthi detainees who had participated in hostilities against the Kingdom.”
This action “aims to strengthen UN efforts to maintain a truce, which went into effect on April 2,” as well as to create a platform for dialogue among the parties involved in the conflict in Yemen.
On Thursday, April 28, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, marking the first visit since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which strained ties between the two countries. Erdoğan described the visit as “the manifestation of [Saudi Arabia and Turkey’s] common will” and an entry into a “new era” of bilateral relations.
A deeper analysis of this renewed Turkish-Saudi relationship will be published tomorrow in MEPC's Straight from the Source.
Islamic State Attacks
On the night of Wednesday, April 27, ISIS (ISIL) militants conducted three attacks on Iraqi security forces in the Duz Khurmatu, Al-Rashad and Daquq districts. This surge in attacks took place a week after operation “Iron Hammer,” where “a large tunnel for ISIS militants was found, and a large number of weapons, ammunition, and explosive materials were seized.”
Simultaneously, in Syria’s Deir Az Zor, “a suspected ISIL attack at a Ramadan iftar gathering… killed seven people, including the former spokesperson of the United States-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Nouri Hamish.” More ISIL attacks have been carried out since mid April than in both February and March. Analysts, such as Sasha Hoffman of the Rojava Information Center, are concerned that, with international focus on the Russia-Ukraine war, the Islamic State is attempting to center the world’s attention “back on the group.”
Libyan Oil Production
Having shut down its largest oil facility on April 18, Libya is now losing $60 million a day due to limited production. This shutdown is a result of the current political leadership crisis, as the former UN-backed Dbeibah government and the recently elected Bashagha government are both operating simultaneously in Libya. Either party is refusing to step down. Analysts believe that the “eastern Libyan forces who back Bashagha have forced the closure of the oil facilities in a bid to press Dbeibah to step down.”
Also Check Out
Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Sharif visited Saudi Arabia to discuss bilateral cooperation and increasing financial support from the kingdom.
Israel’s PM Bennett condemned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over his remarks disparaging the Jewish population.
For additional news resources, visit MEPC's Straight from the Source series.