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A first look at today’s most notable stories from the Middle East, selected by ACLS experts

15 DECEMBER 2022

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1. President of the Russian Duma Proposes Working With Turkey To Combat Terrorism (Syria TV).  The Speaker of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, called for an international conference to combat terrorism in Moscow, with the participation of Turkey, the Syrian regime and other countries….He pointed out that Russia “will hold a conference to discuss these files, in which Turkey, Syria, Iran , China, Pakistan and other countries will participate.”

2. Erdoğan attends a tripartite summit with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan (Daily Sabah). Erdoğan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Turkmen leader Serdar Berdimuhamedov met in the western Turkmen city of Awaza to address steps to further deepen cooperation between the three countries in various areas, particularly in trade, energy and transportation. On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the start of natural gas transportation from Turkmenistan to Western countries.


3. Operation “Truck No. 8”:  Israel claims responsibility for striking an Iranian convoy in Albu Kamal (Syria TV).  Israeli Army Chief of Staff Kochavi revealed on Wednesday that Israel targeted a convoy of Iranian trucks loaded with weapons on the Syrian-Iraqi border last month. Kochavi added that the Israeli army had “full intelligence” to hit “Truck No. 8” from a convoy of 25 trucks, because they knew that this truck contained Iranian weapons.


4. Lebanon fears receiving a gift of wheat and Russian fuel (Al Akhbar [Hizballah-Associated]). The Hizballah-associated news outlet Al Akhbar claimed that “Moscow is offering a donation of 40,000 tons of wheat and 25,000 tons of oil derivatives, after President Vladimir Putin’s decision to assign the file to the Russian Ministry of Emergencies. Until now, Lebanon is still reluctant to receive the donation, as confirmed by the sources of the Russian embassies in Beirut and the Lebanese embassies in Moscow, for no valid reason other than submission to the American will!”


5. Houthi Militia Bombs a School in Hajjah (Al Arabiya). Local media sources reported that an attack by a drone belonging to the Houthi militia targeted the Al-Salam School in the village of Al-Dair, Hayran District…the operation resulted in the death of an 11-year-old child and the injury of two children.


6. Iraq and Germany discuss intelligence cooperation and the dismantling of the Al-Hawl IDP camp (Al Sumeria). Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji met with German National Security AdviserJans Plotner to discuss intelligence cooperation between the two countries and the dismantling of the Al-Hawl IDP camp in northeast Syria.


7.  Iranian-Made Drones Attack Kyiv As US Set To Supply Patriots (Iran International).  Kyiv’s air defense systems shot down 10 Iranian-made drones Wednesday, while the United States is closer to sending its Patriot air defense system to Ukraine…. The United States warned about Iran planning to deliver Shahed Kamikaze drones to Russia in July, something Iran has repeatedly denied, only conceding that it gave “some drones” to Russia before the Ukraine war began.

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