Gulf countries take on Turkey. The Middle East Eye has reported that senior intelligence officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Israel have devised a plan to bring Syrian leader Bashar Assad back into the Arab League to reduce the influence of Turkey and Iran. Following the report’s release, Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt issued a fatwa, or religious decree, to attack Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army forces in Idlib, Syria. The paper also claimed that elements of jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE have escalated attacks on FSA-controlled villages in Idlib. Both of these reports should be taken with a grain of salt, but that they came out around the same time suggests they may be connected.
Russia pivots to China. Russia moved around $100 billion in U.S. holdings from its reserves into the yuan, euro and yen after new U.S. sanctions were imposed last spring. Chinese yuan account