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Nov 4, 2015

Iran’s defense hawks prepare for worst after nuclear deal

DUBAI (Reuters) – As Iran’s government promises a new age of prosperity after sanctions, many Iranians are hoping for the best. But the security establishment, with an eye to its political survival, is very publicly preparing for the worst.

In the past few weeks, Iran has begun to implement a historic accord with world powers, voluntarily curbing its nuclear program in exchange for relief from the sanctions that have cut Tehran off from much of the world.

Oct 31, 2015

Russia risks Syrian quagmire -U.S. deputy secretary of state

MANAMA (Reuters) – Moscow’s intervention in the Syrian conflict will have the unintended consequences of drawing Russia into a quagmire and alienating Sunni Muslims across the region, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday.

Russia began air strikes a month ago, changing the balance of forces in the war in favor of President Bashar al-Assad and against rebel groups that include both jihadists and non-militants backed by the West, Turkey and Gulf countries.

Oct 31, 2015

Russia risks Syrian quagmire: U.S. official Blinken

MANAMA (Reuters) – Moscow’s intervention in the Syrian conflict will have the unintended consequences of drawing Russia into a quagmire and alienating Sunni Muslims across the region, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday.

The United States has waged an air campaign against the Islamic State militant group while also backing some non-jihadist rebel groups against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s own air strikes aim to keep Assad in power.

Oct 14, 2015

Arab coalition slowing aid efforts in Yemen: U.S. Navy report

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) – Aid to Yemen, facing a humanitarian crisis, is being slowed by a Saudi-led coalition which has warned commercial vessels to stay away from areas hit by fighting, a U.S. Navy report said.

The Arab coalition, fighting to end control of much of Yemen by the Iran-allied Houthi movement, denied the allegation and said it was keen for ships to take in relief.

Oct 12, 2015

Saudis tell Russia its actions in Syria will have ‘dangerous consequences’

DUBAI (Reuters) – Moscow’s military intervention in Syria will have “dangerous consequences”, escalating sectarian war there and inspiring militants from around the world to join in, senior Saudi Arabian officials told Russia’s leaders on Sunday, a Saudi source said.

The message, twinned with a pledge of support for moderate foes of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia’s ally, signals Saudi suspicions about Moscow’s motives in entering a 4-1/2 year war in which some 250,000 people have been killed and some 11 million, or half the population, driven from their homes.

Sep 30, 2015

Weapons bound for Yemen seized on Iran boat: coalition

DUBAI (Reuters) – Arab coalition forces waging a military campaign against Houthi fighters in Yemen seized an Iranian boat loaded with weapons in the Arabian Sea on its way to deliver supplies to the group, the Saudi-led alliance said on Wednesday.

The announcement was made a day after tribal fighters backed by the coalition won control of a strategic dam in central Yemen from Houthi forces following weeks of fighting in the area east of the capital Sanaa.

Sep 29, 2015

UAE says reforms will better protect foreign workers

ABU DHABI, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates, a
business hub long dependent on guest workers from Asia,
announced labour reforms on Tuesday to protect foreign workers,
who rights groups say are often abused by employers and
prevented from changing jobs.

The trade, energy and investment powerhouse is one of
several Gulf Arab states whose treatment of foreign workers has
been criticized repeatedly by campaign groups demanding the
repeal of what they consider oppressive labour laws.

Sep 22, 2015

Gulf Arabs oppose Russia role in Syria, still bent on Assad’s ouster

DUBAI (Reuters) – Russia’s military intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad has dismayed Gulf Arab enemies of the Syrian leader who say it will prolong the war and keep Syria firmly in the orbit of their arch regional rival Iran.

Russia says it is providing arms to the Syrian leader, a longtime ally, and has sent servicemen to advise on their use in the fight against Islamic State (IS) and other jihadist groups. Moscow has also staged naval exercises off Syria.

Jul 30, 2015

Arab-led bloc: First aim is to restore Yemeni government in Aden, Sanaa later

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Saudi led-coalition fighting to reinstate Yemen’s exiled government aims first to set it up in the mostly recaptured port city of Aden and then return it to Sanaa if possible via peace talks with Houthi foes, a coalition spokesman said on Thursday.

But if the Iranian-allied Houthis did not eventually agree to quit Sanaa, the government would have the right to “get them out” by force, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said in an interview.

Jul 30, 2015

First aim is to restore Yemeni government in Aden, Sanaa later – Arab-led bloc

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Saudi led-coalition fighting to reinstate Yemen’s exiled government aims first to set it up in the mostly recaptured port city of Aden and then return it to Sanaa if possible via peace talks with Houthi foes, a coalition spokesman said on Thursday.

But if the Iranian-allied Houthis did not eventually agree to quit Sanaa, the government would have the right to “get them out” by force, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said in an interview.