Intellifusion – 5 Incidents to catch up on


Friday 3rd December 2021

Hi Dhananjaya,

Here’s your weekly rundown of the global security landscape, highlighting key incidents that have taken place from each region in the last seven days;

MIDDLE EAST & ASIA

Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition has carried out multiple airstrikes in Houthi controlled-Yemen throughout this week, targeting Houthi drone and missile production facilities. The strikes have mostly focused on areas in Sana’a City, with targets including military sites at Sana’a International Airport, as well as the al-Hasabah area and the al-Nahda areas of the city. The strikes were carried out to attempt to reduce the Houthi’s ability to carry out drone and ballistic missile attacks which target Saudi Arabia from Yemeni territory following weeks of frequent attacks targeting Saudi installations.

The strikes have coincided with a pause in Houthi drone and rocket attacks in Saudi Arabia, suggesting an element of success, however, it is not clear if strikes have reduced due to a genuine Houthi capabilities being degraded by the strikes, or if Houthi rocket and drone forces are ‘laying low’ hoping to wait out the Saudi push.

NORTH AMERICA

New York, United States

A large explosion was reported on Sunday 28th November on a beach on Fox Island, Long Island. A significant impact area was found on the beach, and a boat was seen leaving the area around the time of the blast, leading to an investigation to be launched.

The FBI also became involved in the investigation over concerns that the incident may have been a “test event” for a larger terror incident, although no further details have been released. The Department for Homeland Security had warned earlier in the month about the heightened risk of terror incidents in the run-up to several religious holidays and the rise in the number of mass gatherings.

EUROPE

Poland-Belarus Border

Monitoring of the Poland-Belarus border has continued to feature incidents of large groups of migrants attempting to cross into Poland with the help of Belarusian soldiers. These incidents have seen migrants pelt Polish soldiers and Border Guards with rocks while Belarusian soldiers attempt to blind Polish personnel with lasers and strobe lights. During these incidents, there have been numerous arrests between the towns of Bialystok and Biala Podlaska of human traffickers transporting small groups (between four to seven at a time) of predominantly Iraqi migrants. Additionally, there have been at least two occasions so far where concertina wire has been cut.

These recent developments could indicate a change in tactics for Belarus’ migrant trafficking into Poland. Belarus appears to be using large groups of migrants to clash with Polish personnel in order to focus attention away from human traffickers who can transport large numbers of migrants into Poland but in smaller groups.

AFRICA

Mozambique

Ahlu al-Sunna militants have carried out multiple attacks in Mecula District of Niassa Province in recent days, the clearest sign yet that the insurgency is spreading from Cabo Delgado Province. An attack on Gomba village, located near the border with Tanzania, was followed by an attack in Naulala village over the weekend. During the Naulala attack, over 100 children are said to have been abducted. A police station was attacked, and houses and a healthcare centre were also looted and set alight. The attack was claimed by ISIS, who have claimed several attacks in Mozambique in recent weeks- indicative of the group’s continued resilience in the country.

With the help of the SADC and Rwandan forces, Mozambican security forces have dismantled over a dozen bases of Ahlu al-Sunna in Cabo Delgado Province. Electricity has also been restored in districts including Palma, where humanitarian aid arrived for the first time in six months on September and IDPs have reportedly returned to the town in their thousands from Quitunda, located outside the Afungi gas project site. However, while attacks have decreased in the province as a whole, sporadic attacks continue mainly in Macomia, Nangade and Mocimboa da Praia districts. Yet recent attacks in Mueda District and Mecula district in eastern Niassa Province demonstrate Ahlu al-Sunna’s mobility and will likely have an impact on the capacity of security forces, adding further to the complexity of the situation.

SOUTH AMERICA

Honduras

On Sunday, Honduras elected Xiomara Castro as its new president. Castro is a member of the left-wing Libre Party and describes herself as a democratic socialist. Although the initial results were contested by her opponent Nasry Asfura, who organised a premature victory rally in the capital, he eventually conceded.

In the run-up to the election, Castro promised that if elected, she would establish diplomatic relations with China and de-emphasize her country’s long-standing ties with Taiwan. This prompted a visit from the U.S. assistant secretary of state Brian Nichols, who stressed that the U.S. government would like to see Honduran-Taiwanese ties continue. The visit was described by China as “arm-twisting”.

The pressure U.S. diplomats exerted on the new Honduran president has proven to be enough, as she now appears to have shifted her stance. Salvador Nasralla, a high-ranking ally to the president, claims that Honduras will not be establishing formal relations with China. Furthermore he stated: “Our trade ally, our close ally, our historical ally is the United States. We don’t want to fight with the United States, the United States is our main trade ally.”