Weekly Regional Brief
U.S. Raid on ISIS Leader
On Thursday, February 3, United States forces conducted a raid on the home of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi in northwestern Syria. Qurayshi detonated a suicide explosive to evade capture, killing himself as well as multiple family members. Since assuming this leadership position in 2019, Qurayshi oversaw ISIS’ acts of genocide against the Yazidi people, the prison break operation in northeast Syria, and various other terrorist activities.
Potential U.S. Arms Sales to the Middle East
On Thursday, February 3, the State Department made determinations approving possible Foreign Military Sales to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The deals are estimated to cost $4.21 billion, $23.7 million, and $65 million respectively.
Tunisia’s Supreme Judicial Council Dissolved
On Sunday, February 6, Tunisian President Kais Saied dissolved the Supreme Judicial Council, referring to it as a “thing of the past.” This development furthers Saied’s reputation for administering unilateral and, as some say, illegal political reformations.
Iraqi Presidential Elections
On Sunday, February 6, the Iraqi Supreme Court stated “that the candidacy of Hoshyar Zebari, a Western-friendly veteran Iraqi Kurdish statesman, could not proceed until corruption charges from a separate 2016 stint as finance minister were dealt with.” Consequently, a multitude of parliamentary members boycotted participation in Monday’s session and the presidential voting process, with only 58 of 329 lawmakers present.
Arabic Sources from the Region
Today, the United States and Jordan signed two agreements aiming to increase aid and development help to the kingdom. The agreements were valued at $597 million U.S. dollars. According to the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the aid forms part of the American Economic Assistance Program for the Jordanian government, which started in 2021 and is worth $1.2 billion U.S. dollars. In the first agreement, the American government will transfer the second direct cash installment to the treasury, valuing $245 million. The final installment of the annual direct cash support to Jordan is worth $845 million. Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Naser al-Shareda, says the support will fund development projects such as water security, education, and health. The second agreement, the Development Assistance Agreement maps out how USAID will work with the Jordanian government and the private sector will spend $352 million directly stimulating economic recovery. USAID director Sherry Carlin states that the agreement will help bolster Jordanian economic stability. The agreement indicates that the financial assistance from the United States raised the Jordanian budget 370.2% to 555.5 million dinars, or $783.2.
This article was published by al-Akhbar (literally “the news”), a Lebanese news site, founded in Beirut. The newspaper was first published in 2015.