Weekly Round Up 12 – 18 March

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Turkish Held Afrin

Who?  Turkish Army and Syrian Allies
What?  Taking control of the City of Afrin
Where?  Afrin, Northern Syria

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?

After an 8 week “anti-terrorist” campaign the Turkish armed forces have reached the capital of the Afrin region of northern Syria. A spokesperson for the local government in Afrin has sworn that the mostly Kurdish population will mount a guerrilla campaign against the Turkish occupants for as long as they remain there. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that he might press the campaign further into ethnically Kurdish regions of Syria in order to further rout out terrorists.

However, it is important to note that this could cause increased distrust and conflict between Turkey and its NATO ally the United States. The Russian Federation has not yet released a statement about the Turkish campaign or the occupation of Afrin, but instead has been very active in East Ghouta (near Damascus). It is likely that Russia does not want to disrupt its fragile relationship with Turkey at this stage. On the other hand, in light of the recent presidential election in Russia, the Russian gloves might come off in Syria.

Reuters article by Dominic Evans and Lisa Barrington:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-afrin/turkish-forces-and-syrian-allies-drive-kurds-from-afrin-idUSKCN1GU07P

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Gibraltar

Who?  United Kingdom, Gibraltar and the rest of Europe
What?  Unrest in Gibraltar
Where? Gibraltar

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?

Most people remain ignorant to the fact that Gibraltar is apart of the United Kingdom therefore also faces the consequences of Brexit. Gibraltar is not home to the usual British stereotype that wears a olive-toned tan. The island boasts a wealth of culture and history that is not recognized nor cherished by the British public, something that could lead to major implications after Brexit has run its course.

More on this topic on the article below:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/04/liberal-left-gibraltar-multicultural-little-britain-haven-brexit

 

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Zimbabwe Elections

Who?  Citizens of Zimbabwe
What?  First Elections
Where?  All of Zimbabwe

Why is it important, relevant, worth consideration or keeping an eye on?

Although there has not yet been an exact date set for the elections this July, these elections will mark yet another turning point for Zimbabwe, after the coup in November that deposed Robert Mugabe. The dictator Mugabe,  ruled the African nation after it won independence from the British in 1980.

The current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has called for a peaceful election process. For the first time Western observers have been invited to spectate the elections. Whether the elections will be as peaceful as Mnangagwa hopes remains to be seen. One way or another, this will be a story worth keeping an eye on come July.

Read more about this story here:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-politics/president-says-zimbabwe-to-hold-elections-in-july-idUSKBN1GU0GO

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