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Watch List: Dec. 4, 2017

The U.S. warns Iran, accusations of betrayal in eastern Ukraine, tensions in Israel

|December 4, 2017

The items listed below represent potential emerging issues that our analysts are tracking. These can be long term or short term, but will be updated daily. If an item on our Watch List becomes critical, we will email you a full analysis explaining its significance.

Each Saturday, we will follow up our daily Watch List for each week with our conclusions on these issues.

  • U.S., Iran: The director of U.S. intelligence sent a letter to Iranian officials warning them over the increasingly aggressive behavior of Iranian security forces in Iraq. What forces does the U.S. have in Iraq? Where are they, and what are they doing? What about Iranian forces? Does either country have plans to increase troop levels? The answers to these questions will help us assess if the U.S. can enforce any threats against Iran.
  • Ukraine: The former leader of the Luhansk People’s Republic was accused by members of his own battalion of aiding the Ukrainian special services. This comes after he lost control of the rebel region and reportedly fled to Moscow. Something is happening in the Russia-U.S.-Ukraine talks, and we need to understand it better. What is Moscow’s view of this story? What details can we find about the claims of rebel forces being friendly to Kiev? Are there any signs of talks going badly or of Russia changing its relationship with the rebels?
  • Israel: The Israeli army has gone on high alert near Gaza and declared surrounding areas a “closed military zone.” The reasons for the decision were not made public. Meanwhile, Hamas said it would revive the intifada if the U.S. were to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or move its embassy to the city. Has there been a shift in Hamas’ position recently? What is the Israeli media saying about Gaza? Are there any signs that Hezbollah is preparing operations in southern Lebanon?

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