The United States Reevaluates its Relationship with Saudi Arabia

A recently declassified U.S. intelligence report confirmed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

The release of the report is part of a shift in Washington’s relationship with Riyadh, and highlights the need for the Biden administration to recalibrate relations.

Prominent voices in the United States were, however, dismayed that the Biden administration eschewed a harder stance.

‘Constant fear’: Iraq and Syria face ISIL resurgence

ISIL’s ‘caliphate’ was destroyed in March 2019 but its ideology and socioeconomic fault lines that gave birth to it are still intact in the region.

Rania Najim Abed is terrified that ISIL (ISIS) might return to Tel Eskof, her hometown in northern Iraq, 15km (9 miles) from the armed group’s former stronghold of Mosul.

Biden Administration Strikes Iranian Proxies

The February 25 retaliatory U.S. air strike on Iran-backed militias in Syria sought to deter attacks by Iranian proxies while minimizing escalation.

The strike inside Syria represented an effort by the Biden Administration to avoid enmeshing U.S.-Iraq relations with Washington’s approach toward Tehran.

Saudi-led coalition downs drone from Yemen

The Arab Coalition intercepted and destroyed an explosive-laden drone launched on Friday by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia toward Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

US: Russia blocks Syria chemical weapons use accountability

The United States accused Syrian President Bashar Assad and his close ally Russia on Thursday of trying to block all efforts to hold Damascus accountable for using chemical weapons during attacks on civilians.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the U.N. Security Council that “the Assad regime has tried to avoid accountability by obstructing independent investigations and undermining the role and work of the OPCW,” the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which is the international chemical weapons watchdog.