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Today’s Notable Headlines from the Middle East

10- Jan- 23

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1. Iran Warns Venezuela Against Improving Ties With US (Iran International). Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has warned Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro against normalizing relations with the United States, after signs that Caracas entertains the idea. In a meeting with the new ambassador of Venezuela to Tehran on Sunday, Ebrahim Raisi claimed, the Americans want closer ties with Venezuela due to the country’s need for energy resources.


2. Saudi Arabia May Increase Investments in Pakistan to $10 Billion (Arab News). Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has directed a study geared toward increasing the Kingdom’s investments in Pakistan to reach $10 billion. He also directed the Saudi Fund for Development to study increasing the Saudi deposit to Pakistan’s Central Bank to reach $5 billion.


3. Anbar:  Most of the Captagon Smugglers from Syria are Iraqis (RUDAW). The local government in Anbar Governorate, in the west of the country, stated that most of the smugglers of the narcotic drug Captagon from Syria to Iraq are of Iraqi nationality.


4. 50 Journalists Killed Since 2011; Syndicate Report:  The Houthi Militia once again Tops the List of Violators of Press Freedoms in Yemen (Al Masdar Online). The union said in its annual report for the year 2022, issued on Monday, that it had monitored 92 cases of violations against media outlets, journalists, photographers and their belongings during the past year, while the Iran-backed Houthi militia again topped the list of violators with 40 percent of those violations.


5. To Curb the Steady Collapse of the Pound, Egypt Announces “Dollar Austerity” (Al Nahar Al Arabi). Among the procedures included in the decision:  postponing the implementation of any new project that has not been implemented and has a dollar component, and requiring state entities to obtain the approval of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank before allocating foreign liquidity, in addition to rationalizing all travel outside the country except for extreme necessity, and after approval.


6. Turkish Forces Wounded in SDF Missile Strike on Turkish Base North of Aleppo (Shaam News). Activists said that four Turkish soldiers were wounded, and the condition of one of them is serious, as a result of a missile strike by the “SDF” targeting the “Scientific Research” military base, east of the city of Azaz. The Turkish army responded by targeting the strongholds of the “SDF” in the vicinity of the city of Tal Rifaat with artillery.


7. Hizballah Leader Announces Mobilization of 9,000 New Soldiers (Al Modon). Nasrallah confirmed in a special meeting…that 9,378 new tactical soldiers have joined the faithful army of God, and to them are added nearly 90,000 members in the number of Imam al-Mahdi’s scouts. Nasrallah revealed that “Hizballah has more than 100,000 fighters, and what is hidden is greater.” This is not the first time that Nasrallah has announced this number of fighters, which exceeds 100,000, without announcing the exact number.


8. $10 Million Disappeared from the Autonomous Administration’s Budget (Syria TV). The Autonomous Administration dismissed the head of the Economic Authority, Salman Barudo, and the cadre of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in charge of the authority, known as Sarhad, on the grounds of the disappearance of more than $10 million that had been handed over to a local investor for the purpose of importing industrial materials and equipment.

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