Russia and America Plan Unprecedented Action against ISIS
Military leaders from Russia and the US met this week to discuss their efforts against ISIS in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour region, one of the extremist group’s last strongholds in Syria.
The Russians warned of retaliation should it come under fire. Russian and pro-Assad troops, as well as US-backed Kurdish-led forces risk direct confrontation in their concurrent fight against ISIS.
UN General Assembly: Abbas Praises Trump, Bibi Attacks Iran, and Rouhani and Trump Trade Barbs
At the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed optimism about a two-state solution with Israel, underscoring Trump’s commitment to achieving “the deal of the century.” Yet, neither Trump nor his aides have committed to a two-state policy.
Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, highlighted Israel’s diplomatic achievements with its Arab neighbours and reiterated his zero-tolerance policy towards Iranian efforts to set up bases along Israeli borders or in Syria.
Responding to Trump’s threat of pulling out of the nuclear deal and referring to the latter as “rogue newcomers to the world of politics,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran will respond “decisively and resolutely.”
Continued Regional Opposition against Kurdish Referendum
Foreign ministers from Turkey, Iran and Iraq agreed to consider counter-measures over Kurdish referendum, which they assert would nullify Iraqi gains against ISIS and pave the way for more conflicts. The joint statement did not provide specifics as to what form these measures will take.
The Kurds remain undeterred in their desire for independence from Iraq.
Border Trade and Oil Deal for Sudan and South Sudan
Governments of Sudan and South Sudan concluded a deal to open direct border trade and increase oil production in fields located in South Sudan.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 following decades of conflict – in 2013, South Sudan fell into civil conflict. This deal will aid in helping South Sudan’s economy recover.