Newsbrief: Changing the tides – how one day shook the Middle East

(Photo: CNN)

by Skyler Shuel
edited by Ian Keating

One recent 24 hour period served as a catalyst of change for the Middle East, bringing about alleged missile launches, resignations, and more, according to CNN.

The chain of events began mid-afternoon Saturday when the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, resigned from office. This resignation was due to an alleged assassination plot, which Hariri’s security detail vehemently denies existed.

In the wake of Hariri’s resignation, a ballistic missile originating from Yemen was intercepted as it headed directly towards Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capitol, where Hariri had issued his resignation. The news of the missile marks the escalation of the Yemeni war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. London School of Economics Professor Fawaz Gerges said “This is a major escalation and will have tremendous implications on the situation in Yemen itself, because Saudi Arabia now feels extremely the urge to retaliate against the Houthi movement that controls the government in Sanaa,”

Additionally, many businessmen and members of the nobility were arrested on suspicions of corruption and fraud. This was part of an anti-corruption drive led by Bin Salman, the Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. It served to expose corruption among top ranking members of society and strip them of their power.

With the recent destruction of ISIS’ last stronghold in either Iraq or Syria, many of the Middle Eastern countries have now turned their sights on one another. Gerges said, ‘The dismantling of the so-called caliphate will basically intensify the geostrategic struggles between the pro-Iranian camp led by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and its allies in the region, including the United States.”

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