President Donald Trump’s tweets on Tuesday attempting to mend fences with the Syrian Kurds arrived too late and did not improve the situation. Speaking through the spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurds were clearly shocked by Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops deployed along the border with Turkey and stand by in the face of a possible Turkish military offensive in northern Syria.
The MENA Region: A Great Power Competition volume deals with competition among regional and external players for the redistribution of power and international status in the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on Russia’s renewed role and the implications for US interests. Over the last few years, a crisis of legitimacy has beset the liberal international order. In this context, the configuration of regional orders has come into question, as in the extreme case of the current collapse in the Middle East.
It is hard to predict the outcome of Tunisia’s presidential election, whose first round takes place on 15 September. From one perspective, this is a good thing – an encouraging sign of how much Tunisia’s democratic transition has succeeded. After all, a genuinely open election remains a rarity in the Arab world.
On Sunday, August 4, a series of airstrikes in Libya’s remote southwest desert town of Murzuq killed a gathering over 40 armed men and civilians, with a further 50 people injured. Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, most likely carried out by foreign aircraft, claiming the targets were ‘Chadian opposition fighters’.
Over the last eight years the Syrian conflict has developed into one of the worst humanitarian tragedies of modern times. More than half a million victims, 5 million refugees abroad and 6 million internally displaced: the figures only capture part of Syria’s catastrophe. In addition, there is the less quantifiable damage to the country’s social fabric.
Campaigning on a nationalist vision of the United States as a country being misused by other countries, Donald Trump promised to bring upon significant changes to the international order. His primary tool for achieving this has been an abandonment of multilateral arrangements. Under Trump’s leadership, the US withdrew from the Universal Postal Union, the UNESCO, and has effectively blocked the dispute resolution mechanism of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Over half of Egyptians have not read the newly amended constitution, according to a new opinion poll -- although the charter will be put to national referendum on January 14.Fifty-nine percent of the respondents to a poll in late December by private polling organisation Baseera said they had not read the new charter, while 36 percent said they had read "parts" of it.