Fighting continues to intensify around Yemen’s Marib province, the Saudi-backed Yemeni government’s last remaining stronghold. The Saudi-proposed ceasefire is still not being accepted by the Iranian-backed Houthis, though secret talks have been held between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Iraq recently. We have yet to see anything come of that unconfirmed development. In the meantime, the Houthis have the upper hand, and if they take Marib they will be negotiating a peace/power-sharing deal with much more leverage, which makes a ceasefire increasingly less likely--even as it would come with a lifting of Saudi blockades (not the Yemeni government’s).
In a continuation of pressure from pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, Friday saw another rocket attack on a Baghdad airport base housing US troops. One Iraqi soldier was wounded on the base, which is a launch point for the US-led anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq. Last week, a rocket attack hit another airbase, wounding five. There has been no claim of responsibility for either attack.
Idriss Deby, the president of Chad for three decades, was killed by a Libya-based rebel group on Monday. He was considered an important Western ally in the fight against ISIS. The rebel group is not connected to ISIS; rather, the rebels belong to FACT, the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, which is based in Libya. The group had made gains moving towards Chad’s capital, and Deby was killed visiting troops on…