With the US recently increasing its air operations in Yemen, the West still has a role to play in the Houthi conflict. But what conditions need to be in place for the coalition to triumph conclusively?
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.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was scheduled to visit Moscow this week. His trip has now been cancelled, partly because he wishes to intensify diplomatic pressure on Russia, but also because he is keen to persuade the new US administration about the virtues of foreign and security policy coordination.
Last Monday a UN aid convoy was targeted and destroyed by what appears to be Russian-made munitions. It is therefore likely that either the Russian Air Force or the Syrian Air Force carried out the attack.
Despite the obvious antagonism between Russia and the US, the two states can also cooperate, as the current deal over Syria indicates, especially when Moscow wishes to expand its available strategic options.
The deal to implement a ceasefire across Syria brokered by the US and Russia is a major development in the course of that country’s brutal conflict. It presents a faint glimmer of hope – the first in years – that an end may be in sight to what to date remains this century’s bloodiest conflict.