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Yemen war offers up a web of ambiguities as it continues to test Saudi leaders

Saudi Arabia is keen to end the costly war on its southern border, but has yet to find a way out while also ensuring its security and preserving Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s reputation. The Biden administration could contribute to the conflict’s resolution, provided it can reach a new understanding with Iran. In the meantime, many are profiting from the conflict, with large-scale smuggling from Oman and the UAE bringing arms and much more into the conflict zone.

Issue 1120 - 18 February 2021

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Iraq: Baghdad and Erbil enter a new phase of their standoff

Budget talks in Baghdad are going down to the wire over the thorny issue of allocations to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The negotiations are the latest manifestation of a long-running dispute between Iraq’s centre and its periphery that has proved stubbornly immune to resolution since the late Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime was ousted in 2003. There is added friction in the Baghdad-Erbil standoff, with Iraqi Shia parties increasingly vexed at what they view as a resurgence of Kurdish independence hopes.

Issue 1120 - 18 February 2021

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