Yemen:

• Yemen has never been a stable country, even prior to the Arab Spring.

• Currently the war is between the Houthis (supported by Iran) in the north against Hadi-loyalists (supported by Saudi-Arabia and co.) in the south and ISIL/AQAP in the east.

• The Arab Spring allowed Houthi Shias in the north of Yemen to mobilize just like the rest of the region.

• Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has always been active in Yemen. The attack on the USS Cole was by the Yemeni based Al-Qaeda. [Source]

• The Houthis have been fighting for some time, perhaps over a decade [Source]

• The lack of a coordinated government military has allowed Al-Qaeda to expand unhindered in the country.

• Things began to escalate much faster when the Houthis in a power grab captured Sana’a, the capital of Yemen and placing the president (Hadi at the time) under house arrest. [Source]

• Hadi managed to escape a month later to Aden, establishing it as a temporary capital and asking Saudi-Arabia to increase its support against the Houthis.

• ISIL has been spotted in Yemen. ISIL is hostile to both Houthi and Hadi loyalists (although when things were chummy with Saudi Arabia it only said it was going to fight the Shia Houthis). [Source]

• Saudi-Arabia is leading a coalition comprising of nine Arab League states (Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Somalia) against the Houthis in Yemen.

• Iran did seize on the Houthi mobilization, being Shia and so close to Saudi Arabia, to open up a fourth front in the Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy wars, the other three being Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. [Source]

• Iran has provided trainers and advisors in small numbers which has help the Houthis augment their tactics in guerrilla mountain warfare.

• The territory shared between Saudi-Arabia and Yemen where the Houthis reside is a desert mountainous area making it perfect for guerilla warfare.

• The Houthis have been able to inflict heavy causalities on Saudi ground forces [Source]

• Saudi-Arabia and friends have been consistently bombing targets inside Yemen. The country is approaching collapse.

• The US has primarily kept quiet about the Yemen campaign, Saudi Arabia along with Israel receive this cover when it comes to civilian massacres, which is what Yemen is right now.

• This is not the first time an Arab power has been deployed on the ground and in the air over Yemen; back then however David Sterling (founder of the British SAS) was running the show against the Egyptians [Source]

• Houthi forces, with probable technical assistance from Iranian advisors or Yemeni Republican Guard forces, have fired SCUDS into Saudi Arabia bringing the conflict to a new level of severity. [Source]

• Cross border raids have been common between both Saudi Arabia and Houthi fighters [Source]

• Although hard to confirm but it seems that the Houthis have also fired two anti-ship missiles at Saudi vessels, sinking one. [Source]

• The old Yemeni Republican Guard, one of the better trained units in Yemen, have sided with the Houthis as many are in support of the old president Saleh.

• Saleh was supposed to step down in favor of Hadi in 2011. This agreement was brokered by Saudi Arabia. Saleh refused to sign the papers at the last minute. Just over a week later bombs are set off in a mosque where he and members of his government were praying. Saleh survived with burns on 40% of his body after extensive treatment in Saudi Arabia. Saleh signed the agreement months later [Source]

• It’s unsure who committed the bombings of the mosque but fingers have pointed to Saudi intelligence as well as the Houthis.

• Saleh, as ex-president of Yemen, has pledged his allegiance to the Houthis after the Arab Coalition struck his residence feeling he has been abandoned by the Arab League [Source]

• Iran, under the guise of anti-piracy exercises, have managed to deploy a small number of heavy weapons, IRGC advisors (perhaps 10-12 men at most), and lots of hard US cash. [Source]

• Humanitarian vessels continuously provide the people of Yemen with aid, a significant number have been sent by Iran. [Source]

• Right now Qatar and the UAE are shuttling in ISIL fighters into Yemen, getting them out of Syria and from Russian air strikes. [Source]

• It could be a strategy to try to grind up these fanatics against the Houthis, getting rid of two problems.

• ISIL currently outshines AQAP and it won’t be long before it steals more and more AQAP members. ISIL has an allure to jihadists of other factions. [Source]

• Al-Shahaab (Somalian Al-Qaeda) has deployed fighters into Yemen to fight alongside AQAP for more than five years. [Source]

 

Egypt:

• An ongoing crackdown campaign by Egyptian military against Islamists in the Sinai Peninsula.

• The Islamists consist of Al-Qaeda, Islamic State-affiliated groups, Gaza-based Islamists, Muslim Brotherhood, and Bedouin tribes.

• Islamist attacks have grown more sophisticated. Once their tactics revolved around hit-and-run attacks, roadside explosives, bombing of government buildings, kidnapping, assassinations, attacks on foreign tourists and other guerilla warfare techniques.

• These attacks grew when Morsi was ousted out of power in a coup one year into their leadership. In a sense a strongman has returned to power in Egypt, democracy has died and the people in Egypt have lost faith in it due to low turn outs [Source]

• The most sophisticated attack yet is an ISIL-affiliated group which fired an anti-ship missile at an Egyptian cruiser off the Mediterranean coast. [Source]

• This missile most probably came from Libya.

• Egypt has already flooded many tunnels that lead from Gaza to the Sinai and has created a buffer zone around the area in response to the Islamist support from Gaza to Islamists in Egypt. [Source]

• The Egyptian military has essentially adopted a ‘scorched earth’ strategy by destroying villages and towns found sympathetic to Islamists inside the Sinai. [Source]

• Israel approves Egyptian action and has even temporarily waiving certain stipulations as per the 1979 Camp David Peace Accords which prohibits Egypt from deploying significant forces inside the Sinai. [Source]

• The waiver has allowed the Egyptian military to increase its presence significantly in the Sinai with heavy tanks, attack helicopters, and airstrikes.

• As part of the campaign the government punishes anyone who opposes the official story.

• The current quasi-military-junta in Egypt has openly attacked pro-Morsi rallies, international journalists, and has even gone so far as to imprison and even kill opposition political members. [Source] [Source]

• The Islamists are currently trying to keep their heads down while recruiting new people. The Sinai is relatively underdeveloped compared to other parts of Egypt and therefore does not have major urban centers like Iraq. Having mostly desert terrain a guerilla campaign is much harder on the highly armed and numerical superior Egyptian military.

• These Islamists know that they can put extreme pressure on the Egyptian military by attacking tourists, commercial interests such as industrial areas, and assassinations of politicians.

• The Egyptian people are very susceptible to shock-tactics such as those seen by ISIL against the Iraqi military in Mosul. Should a major move by ISIL be taken in this theatre it would most definitely be along similar lines of first spreading a terror campaign then assaulting key towns and cities.

• ISIL will focus on recruiting insiders (sleeper agents) in the Egyptian military. This is a long process but will be the critical aspect which will impact the success of a massive ISIL attack.

• Currently the Islamists inside Egypt (Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, etc.) are in disagreement to what Egypt means to them. For ISIL-affiliates Egypt is just another province for the Caliphate. That alarms Egyptian-Islamists who still have a sense of nationalism in them.
Libya:

• The war in Libya is direct fallout from NATO intervention which used operation creep to include bombing Gaddafi forces during the Arab Spring uprising of Libyans.

• Gaddafi may have been a bit off but he had created some of the most influential infrastructure projects in the entire region. [Source]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Man-Made_River

• Libya right now is considered the most promising province for ISIL after Syria-Iraq. [Source]

• The civil/proxy war now is majorly between CIA strongman Khalifa Haftar government against the old government which refused to step down due to the low turn outs of voters and the security situation that prevent voters from going to the polls [Source] [Source]

• Low voter turnout due to security issues created a landslide victory of Khalifa Haftars party which forced Islamist members of the Libyan congress to reject the ballot.

• Khalifa Haftars government, the Council of Deputies, is based in Tobruk, while the opposing group, the New National Congress, consisting of primarily Libyan Muslim Brotherhood members and other Islamists, is based in Tripoli.

• The CIA-strongman Tobruk government is supported by Egypt and the UAE, while the Tripoli Islamist government is supported by Qatar, Turkey, and Sudan. [Source] [Source]

• The support for Tobruk comes in the form of airstrikes and Special Forces, the support for Tripoli comes in the form of financing and weapon transfers.

• ISIL is also very prominent in Libya, which holds a small but significant coastal area. [Source]

• What the map doesn’t show you is ISIL has a significant number of fighters and sympathizers in Benghazi, which was under ISIL control until an operation in 2014. However once ISIL captures a town with a civilian population it’s hard to distinguish who and who isn’t an ISIL sympathizer and potential sleeper agent. [Source]

• Other militias are involved protecting their respective interests such as the Tuareg militias in the south-west and family tribes inside the territory of both major opposition groups.

• Almost all belligerents have kept ISIL in check but has not stemmed the heavy recruiting seen amongst young Libyans.

• ISIL sees Libya as another territory which can easily provide financing, resources, and hoards of weaponry. Actually Libya is the most promising ISIL province outside of Syria and Iraq.

• The fighting in Libya is generally very gang-oriented. Fighting is not continuous in which combat is seen daily. There are large moments of lulls in violence. Offensives are very taxing in general.

• Professional military units in Libya are very few with the majority in the hands of the Council of Deputies which has extended its term beyond October 2015.

• Egypt has also been drawn into the conflict since the kidnap and beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by ISIL [Source]

• Egypt retaliated with airstrikes inside Libya, supported by the UAE. Special Forces may be deployed inside Libya currently as an extended operation against Islamist support from Libya to Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Israel:

• Israel currently has its hands full with a potential third Palestinian intifada fueled by increased Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque.

• Palestinian stabbings and car-ramming countered by increased Israeli security deployment.

• The PR from this engagement has been plentiful [Source]

• Israelis are so on edge they’ve accidentally killed each other. [Source]

• There are plans to place security cameras inside the Al-Aqsa mosques with Jordan. [Source]

• Palestinian Authority however sees the move as provocative and a trap.

• Voices for the Israeli right are demanding Israel take over the mosque. [Source]

• A Palestinian-Israeli paraglided into the Golan Heights to join up with the rebels. [Source]

• I add this because it made me wonder if modern radar can pick up groups of armed men in gliders, would organizations like Hezbollah need tunnels if they can glide low at night into Israel from the Golan Heights?

• The concept of using gliders and light airplanes has been explored by NATO to deploy Rapid Reaction infantry armed with ATGMs in a defense-in-depth paradigm during the Cold War. Their gliders were meant to carry two men, an ATGM launcher and 2-4 rockets and were powered by a motor. The teams would be dispersed by the hundreds through an area about to be overrun by Soviet tanks. They would land and set up their equipment for any incoming armor. Similar to this [Source]

• Israel has a direct military hotline to Russia, as Russia has been striking closer to the Golan Heights with no Israeli reaction it would seem that Israel is informed of anything that might concern it.

• So far Israel has not taken on any overt military actions against Hezbollah or Iranian forces in Syria.

• It was revealed the Israel at one point had asked the US for hardware to strike Iranian nuclear facilities in a commando raid. [Source]

The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA
The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire