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Eurasia Security Watch - No. 352

Edited by Jeff M. Smith and Chloe Thompson
November 24, 2015


KURDS RETAKE SINJAR
Kurdish and Yazidi fighters retook the embattled town of Sinjar, Iraq last week from ISIS fighters. The offensive was a joint effort by Peshmerga, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and Yazidi fighters. They faced only small outbursts of resistance retaking the city, as ISIS militants had already cleared out in anticipation of the offensive. Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdish government, held a news conferences and announced that Sinjar would formally be incorporated into Kurdistan, despite the fact Baghdad considers it Iraqi territory. Members of the PKK have also laid claim to the city, leading to tensions between the disparate groups. (
New York Times November 13, 2015)

SAUDI COALITION ADVANCES ON TAEZ, YEMEN  
Pro-government coalition forces, led by Saudi Arabia, advanced toward Taez, Yemen, after sending reinforcements in an attempt to break the Houthis' months-long siege there. The move comes ahead of an expected offensive to take back the city, which is widely considered a gateway to controlling the Houthi-held capital Sanaa. (
Al Arabiya November 16, 2015)

UAE TAKES 5 YEMENIS FROM GUANTANAMO 
Five men detained in Guantanamo for more than thirteen years have been released and sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Yemeni men were never charged with a crime but were detained as enemy combatants. They were allowed to resettle after U.S. authorities determined they were no longer a threat. The men could not return to Yemen, because the U.S. considers the country too unstable to accept former Guantanamo prisoners. These prisoners are the first the UAE has accepted for resettlement.(
CBS News November 15, 2015)

TURKEY SAYS IT WARNED FRANCE OF PARIS ATTACKERS
Turkey claims to have notified France about one of the suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacks in both December 2014 and June 2015. According to a senior Turkish official, Turkey received an information request from France about Ismael Omar Mostefai only after the attacks. Mostefai entered Turkey in 2013, but there was no record of his ever leaving the country. Mostefai was from Chartres, to the southwest of Paris, and is the only attacker officially named by French police. The Turkish official stated that Turkey does not want to cast blame, but in light of Mostefai's travel history, it felt compelled to release this information. (
Business InsiderNovember 16, 2015).


Related Categories: Middle East; Europe; Terrorism; Radical Islam; International Economy; Humanitarian Issues; Israel

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