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.
Putin’s surprise withdrawal is not only to leverage Assad into constructive peace talks. It is also about creating more options for Russia to influence the direction of the military conflict and political transition as things change both in Russia and on the ground.
By claiming to have deployed a sophisticated air-defence system, Russia may be attempting to force the international coalition to think twice before undertaking air strikes in Syria without consultations with Moscow