While the initial furore seems to have abated after the US killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, the ripple effects will continue to spread across the region.
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou was recently in Paris to discuss the fight against violent extremism in the Sahel with his French counterpart. The country faces a problematic security environment and must urgently address social, economic and governance challenges.
The EU reached a deal with Mali earlier this month for the return of asylum seekers from Europe and to tackle the local ‘root causes of immigration’. However, the deal will only work if internal security in Mali is supported. And there, the story is less than encouraging.
Since the beginning of armed conflict in Syria and Iraq, thousands of militants from the Caucasus region have participated in the war. However, dislodging Daesh and a collapse of the insurgency in the North Caucasus have substantially diminished the capacities of North Caucasian jihadi groups. Nevertheless, militancy in the region has potential.