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Watch List: March 20, 2017

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  • Last updated: March 21
  • Total word count: 304 words


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.

  • Somalia-United Arab Emirates: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement with the administration of the Republic of Somaliland to establish a UAE military base with airport access in the coastal city of Berbera. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the deal would bolster security in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The UAE would take over security management of the strait. The United States and Egypt were party to the negotiations. We need to see how this intersects with Iran, which expanded its naval battle box to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait during its most recent naval exercises.
  • Poland: Polish Special Forces Commander Gen. Jerzy Gut resigned after 30 years of service. Gut is one of about 30 top-brass resignations by the Polish military in the last 12-15 months. Poland’s armed forces have seen the departure of approximately 80 percent of their leadership. We need to examine the effect this will have on Poland’s military capabilities.
  • Israel-Syria: Israel conducted multiple military strikes against targets in Syria. Israeli fighter jets hit targets in Palmyra. A drone strike hit a high-value target near the town of Khan Arnabah in Quneitra province, near the Golan Heights. And jets struck a Hezbollah supply convoy traveling along the Syrian-Lebanese border. Of these incidents, the most interesting is Palmyra, because Israel has not extended its airstrikes this far into Syria before. We need to determine what the target of Israeli airstrikes in Palmyra was.