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Watch List: Dec. 5, 2017

The Islamic State in the Golan Heights, Fatah accuses Iran of interference

|December 5, 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.

  • Israel: There is renewed discussion in the media of Israel’s concern over the Islamic State in the Golan Heights. What is the Islamic State’s status in Syria, specifically on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights? Who is fighting IS now?
  • Palestinian Territories: The leader of the Fatah party accused the Iranian government of impeding reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah. How much influence – including financial support, arms supplies and so on – does Iran have among the Palestinians now?
  • Ukraine: Ukraine’s prosecutor general said that former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who was ousted following protests in 2014, and an associate are supporting the Ukrainian opposition, which includes Mikhail Saakashvili, the former governor of Odessa and ex-president of Georgia. Which oligarchs and politicians in Ukraine back Saakashvili? What is their relationship to Moscow? We need to figure out if this is an attempt to create instability in Ukraine.
  • Russia: Russia has carried out airstrikes in Syria to support the advance of eastern tribes and Kurdish units on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. Normally, Turkey opposes any foreign military support for the Kurds. That Ankara has said nothing is odd. Does this undermine the Russia-Turkey relationship or have the two countries reached some type of agreement?

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