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Edge is to use its extensive surveillance technologies for a six-month anti-crime initiative in São Paulo; the very active UAE state-owned defence conglomerate has also agreed a tie-up with Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The second former US Navy frigate to join the Royal Bahrain Naval Force has arrived in Manama.

Bahrain
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Efforts to bring the Gaza conflict to an end continue, with little apparent prospect of short-term success. Arab states are pushing for Israel to end its bombardment but there is just as much focus on trying to ensure the war doesn’t escalate into a regional conflagration. A key challenge is the Houthis’ campaign against commercial shipping in the Red Sea, which Washington and allies are struggling to counter despite a major attack on targets in Yemen on 12 January.

Iran | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Yemen | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel | Palestine
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Kerman blast: Around 100 people were killed and nearly 300 injured in two explosions at a cemetery in the southern city of Kerman on 3 January, at an event marking the fourth anniversary of IRGC Quds force leader Qasem Soleimani’s death in a United States drone strike.

Iran
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Qatar has taken delivery of the last of four Italian-built Al-Zubarah class corvettes.

Qatar
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Abu Dhabi’s perceived support for General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti)’s RSF rebels led the under-pressure Burhan regime to order 15 UAE embassy staff to leave Khartoum in December. This posed further questions about the Gulf state’s role in the Sudanese civil war, while the RSF has made further strategic gains and is looking for broader regional support.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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A United States-led taskforce has been launched to protect commercial shipping in the Red Sea, after Houthi rebels launched more than 100 drone and ballistic missile attacks over the past month. However, most Gulf countries have declined to join, with just Bahrain signing up to date.

Yemen | Bahrain
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Royal Saudi Air Force pilot Prince Talal Bin Abdelaziz Bin Bandar Al-Saud died on 7 December, the same day an RSAF F-15 crashed in Dhahran.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1182 - 12 December 2023

Yemen: Houthis attack Red Sea shipping

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Red Sea attacks: Houthi forces launched missile and drone attacks against three commercial ships and a United States Navy vessel in the southern Red Sea on 3 December. The first attack targeted Bahamas-flagged bulk cargo ship Unity Explorer at 9:15 am Sanaa time, but the missile missed. Later in the day Unity Explorer was hit by another missile, causing minor damage.

Yemen
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Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri held a phone call with Saudi  defence minister Prince Khalid Bin Salman on 30 November, which Iranian media described as the first step towards developing bilateral defence ties.

Iran
Issue 1182 - 11 December 2023

UAE commissions first French-built corvette

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Vice President Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan launched the Bani Yas corvette on 29 November at the Mina Zayed naval base in Abu Dhabi.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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UAE state-owned defence conglomerate Edge Group has been showcasing its drones, guided munitions, electronic warfare products and other wares at the Expodefensa 2023 trade fair in Bogota, Colombia, held from 5-7 December.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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An explosion at the Jabal Attan military site in southern Sanaa on 30 November remains unexplained, with pictures of smoke and fire at the base being shared on social media.

Yemen
Issue 1182 - 11 December 2023

Iranian Navy reinforces in the Caspian Sea

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The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (Nedaja)’s newest vessel, the frigate Deylaman, officially joined its Caspian Sea fleet in late November. The ship is the seventh Moudge-class vessel, a design of light frigate based on the British-built Vosper Thorneycroft Mk5 Alvand.

Iran
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Qatar has said it is continuing to push for a permanent ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, after a week-long ‘humanitarian pause’ it helped to foster ended on 1 December. The resumption of fighting has seen Israel launch a major bombardment of southern Gaza and brought renewed condemnation from Gulf governments.

Israel | Qatar | Palestine