- Treasury Sanctions Military-Affiliated Companies Fueling Both Sides of the Conflict in Sudan
- Lebanese Military Court Accuses Hezbollah of Killing a UN Soldier
- Türkiye Test-fires Domestic Ballistic Missile Over Black Sea
- Iran Plans to Attack US Forces in Syria
- Jordan Celebrates Royal Wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al-Seif
- Jordan Celebrates Royal Wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al-Seif (New Arab). Jordan celebrated the royal wedding of Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah and Crown Princess Rajwa al-Seif in Jordan’s capital city. Thursday was declared a national holiday commemorating the royal couple’s marriage.
- Türkiye Test-Fires Domestic Ballistic Missile Over Black Sea (Anadolu Agency). According to the Turkish Defense Industries Presidency, the Tayfun was developed by Roketsan, a state-owned defense giant, and fired from the country’s Rize.
- Turkiye, UAE Ratify $40 Billion Trade Deal After Erdogan’s Victory (Al Monitor). The United Arab Emirates and Turkey ratified on Wednesday a cooperation agreement aiming to raise bilateral trade to $40 billion within five years.
- A US Hostage in Iran Reportedly Says He Will Be Freed Soon (Iran International). American hostage in Iran, Siamak Namazi, has informed his family that Iranian authorities have told him he will be freed soon, media in Iran reported Thursday. (Editor’s note: Namazi’s family later denied this communication had taken place.)
- Iran Carried Out More than 300 Death Sentences in 2023 (Al Nahar). Three hundred seven people have been executed since January 1, 2023, 75 percent more than the first five months of 2022…In May alone, 142 people were executed, or four people per day in the Islamic Republic, according to the Norway-based Human Rights Organization in Iran.
- Iran Plans to Attack US Forces in Syria (Enab Baladi). The Washington Post said Iran plans to escalate attacks against US forces in Syria and is working with Russia on a broader strategy to expel the Americans from the region.
- A Former Israeli Official: Iran Has Achieved Less Than 10% of Qassem Soleimani’s Project in Syria (Syria TV). The former head of the Israeli military intelligence service “Aman,” Amos Yadlin, said that Iran had failed to achieve Qassem Soleimani’s project to reproduce the “Hezbollah 2” experience in southern Syria as a result of the repeated Israeli raids in Syria.
- In Continuation of Normalization with Al-Assad… Al-Miqdad is on an Official Visit to Baghdad (Syria TV). Syrian Foreign Minister Feisal Al-Miqdad is scheduled to meet during the visit with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid, Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani, and Parliament Speaker Muhammad Al-Halbousi.
- Russia Accuses America of Violating The “Non-confrontation” Protocols in Syria (Syria TV). The deputy head of the “Russian Center for Reconciliation” in Syria, Oleg Gorinov, said that the US Air Force pilots violated protocol, noting that they activate weapons systems when approaching Russian planes.
ISRAEL AND PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
- Condemnation and Anger after Israel’s Decision to Convert the Citadel of Jerusalem into a David Museum (Al Jazeera). Palestinian authorities condemned the occupation’s decision to convert the historic Citadel of Jerusalem, which is located near the Hebron Gate area in the Old City, into the so-called “David Citadel” museum, stressing that this is a flagrant attack on the city’s history and falsification of historical facts.
- Israeli Strikes in Syria Said to Target Training Base for Hizballah’s Golan Force (Times of Israel). Airstrikes in the Damascus area attributed to Israel earlier this week targeted a Hezbollah terror group training base, according to an Israeli television report on Wednesday.
- Israel Slams UN Atomic Watchdog for Closing Iran Investigation (Times of Israel). Israel blasts the closure of an International Atomic Energy Agency investigation into a suspicious Iranian site, calling it “a matter of great concern.”
- Iraqi Interior Minister: We Asked Iran to Prevent Drug Smuggling into Iraq (Al Iraq News). Yesterday, the Minister of Interior, Abd al-Amir al-Shammari, announced a discussion of several important files with the Iranian Minister of Interior, Ahmed Vahidi. At the same time, he indicated that the Iranian side had handed over complete information about drug smuggling networks.
- Lukoil Raises Oil Production in Iraq (Iraqi News). On Thursday, an official in the oil sector in Iraq mentioned that the Russian oil company Lukoil increased its oil production in the West Qurna-2 oilfield in southern Iraq by 80,000 barrels per day, Reuters reported. The official in the oil field said that production increased after 47 new wells were connected, adding that the production in the West Qurna-2 oilfield could reach 500,000 barrels per day in a short period if necessary.
THE GULF & YEMEN
- No Alternative to Risky Oil Tanker Salvage in Yemen, UN Says (France 24). Transferring more than a million barrels of oil from an abandoned tanker anchored off the shore of Yemen comes with “palpable risks” — but doing nothing could lead to a devastating oil spill, a senior UN official said Wednesday
- Italy Ends Yemen-linked Embargo on Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia (Reuters). Italy has lifted an embargo on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the government said in a statement following a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday… Military equipment exports to Saudi Arabia were restricted in 2019 and 2020 to prevent their use in the Yemen conflict. But the embargo is no longer necessary “in light of the changed situation” on the ground, the government said in its statement, praising Saudi Arabia’s recent peace mediation efforts.
EGYPT AND NORTH AFRICA
- Treasury Sanctions Military-Affiliated Companies Fueling Both Sides of the Conflict in Sudan (U.S. Treasury Department). The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated four companies generating revenue from and contributing to the conflict in Sudan. The entities designated today are affiliated with the two embattled forces fueling the ongoing conflict in Sudan: two companies affiliated with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and two companies affiliated with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).
- US Says Ready to Resume Sudan Mediation Once Parties Are Serious (The Straits Times). The United States said on Thursday that it remained ready to mediate between Sudan’s warring parties but that they needed to be serious about a truce after the army left talks in Saudi Arabia.
- Ennahda Calls for Early Presidential Elections in Tunisia, and the Republican Party Calls for the Release of Political Prisoners (Al Jazeera). Today, Thursday, the interim president of the Tunisian Ennahda Movement, Munther Al-Wanisi, called for early elections to see “the extent of the popularity of President Kais Saied,” while the “Republican” party called for the release of all “political prisoners” and the cessation of all political prosecutions.
- Tunisian Judges Reject the Intervention of the Executive Authority: the Independence of the Judiciary Is Necessary (The New Arab). Tunisian judges affirmed today, Thursday, that the judiciary is going through its worst stage as the executive authority continues interfering in judicial affairs. The judges stressed that the law must be applied and exempted judges must be reinstated, noting that political issues do not concern them as much as the independence of the judiciary.
- Lebanese Military Court Accuses Hizballah of Killing a UN Soldier (Al Arabiya). The Lebanese military judiciary has accused five members of Hezbollah, one of whom is arrested, with the crime of premeditated murder in the attack on a patrol of the United Nations Interim Force in southern Lebanon “UNIFIL,” which resulted in the death of an Irish soldier, according to a judicial source told Agence France Presse.