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Daily Brief: Iraq Celebrates Islamic State's Ouster


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. December 11, 2017 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA Iraq Celebrates Islamic State's Ouster A military parade in Baghdad on Sunday celebrated Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's announcement that the self-proclaimed Islamic State has been ousted from Iraq (VOA). It came just days after Russia declared that the group had been defeated in Syria. The group controlled nearly one-third of Iraq at its height, when the government began its three-year battle against the militants (NYT). Abadi's statement follows the militants' loss of the Iraqi-Syrian border, a final holdout for them, and their defeat in the Syrian city of Raqqa (BBC) last month and Iraq's Mosul in July. On Monday, influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Shia militias to hand their weapons (AP) over to the government.  ANALYSIS "At the end of the day, ISIS is not the cause of Iraq's problems but a symptom of failed governance. And if the United States disengages now, Trump's successor may have to put American boots on the ground yet again, to fight the son of ISIS," Emma Sky writes for Foreign Affairs. "The real victor in the Syrian civil war is Russia, with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the star of the show after the Russia military tilted the scales in Assad's favor," Rula Jebreal writes for the Carnegie Middle East Center. "The prime minister knows he must secure hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild, bring 2.9 million internal and external refugees home, establish a reconciliation process and provide jobs for tens of thousands of soldiers awaiting demobilization," Suadad al-Salhy writes for Middle East Eye.  PACIFIC RIM Japan, South Korea, U.S. Carry Out Missile Drills The three allies began two days of missile-tracking drills (DW) in the waters off Japan on Monday. The exercises, which come after North Korea launched its most sophisticated intercontinental ballistic missile to date late last month, are the sixth such drills (Reuters) for the three nations. This CFR Backgrounder looks at North Korea's military capabilities. CHINA: Thousands of protesters gathered in a rare demonstration in Beijing on Sunday to denounce evictions of migrant workers (Guardian) in the capital city's low-income periphery.  SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA Chinese, Indian, Russian Envoys Meet in Delhi Foreign ministers from the three nations are meeting in the Indian capital on Monday, when they are expected to discuss security concerns in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and the Koreas (RFE/RL). The Russian and Indian ministers are also expected to speak about a transport corridor connecting India to Europe that is under development. BANGLADESH: Humanitarian organizations have issued a statement expressing concern over potential rights violations following an announcement that Bangladesh will begin repatriating Rohingya refugees to Myanmar within two months (VOA). CFR's Alyssa Ayres discusses the world's fastest-growing humanitarian crisis.  MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Protests From Europe to Asia Over Jerusalem Recognition Demonstrators in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, and Turkey took to the streets over the weekend to denounce the United States' recent decision to recognize the city of Jerusalem (Al Jazeera) as Israel's capital. This CFR Backgrounder looks at the international status of Jerusalem.  SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA UN Reports 4,500 Somali Casualties Since 2016 The United Nations reported that 2,078 civilians were killed and 2,507 injured in conflict in Somalia between the start of 2016 and October of this year. The report said the militant group al-Shabab is responsible for 60 percent of the casualties (VOA). ZIMBABWE: Social media users are calling on newly installed President Emmerson Mnangagwa to extradite former Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haile Mariam (DW), who is accused of leading a campaign against political dissents that killed a half million in his country. Mengistu holds a residency permit for Zimbabwe. EUROPE Trial Begins for Istanbul Nightclub Suspect The man accused of killing thirty-nine people in a massacre (RFE/RL) on New Year's Day at an Istanbul nightclub is set to go on trial on Monday. Prosecutors say the suspect confessed to being trained in Afghanistan and receiving orders from the Islamic State. SWEDEN: Three people have been arrested after a synagogue in the city of Goteborg was firebombed (AP) on Saturday. The incident followed a demonstration in the southern city of Malmo a day earlier in protest of the United States' recognition of Jerusalem. AMERICAS Venezuela Blocks Opposition From Elections President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that the country's main opposition parties will be banned from next year's presidential election (BBC). Maduro said only parties that took part in mayoral elections this past weekend, which the opposition boycotted, will be allowed to run. PERU: President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski acknowledged on Saturday that he worked as a financial advisor to the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. He had previously denied any connection to the firm, which is at the center of a massive corruption probe (Reuters). UNITED STATES Explosion Reported at New York Bus Terminal Several people were reported injured after an explosion near Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal on Monday morning; a suspect is in police custody, according to media reports (NY Post). The White House said President Trump has been briefed on the incident (CBS). A wildfire in California's Santa Barbara and Ventura counties continued into its second week after consuming some 230,000 acres (BBC). The fire is the fifth largest in the state's history.         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: December 11, 2017 at 11:03PM