Saudi Arabia has halted transport through the Bab El-Mandeb strait that leads into the Red Sea to the Soyuz Canal. This is a measure against recent missile attacks against two Saudi tankers near the port-city of Hodeida ,one of which sustained minor damage,according to Saudi Oil Minister Khalid-Al-Falih :
“Saudi Arabia is temporarily halting all oil shipments through Bab al-Mandeb Strait immediately until the situation becomes clearer and the maritime transit through Bab al-Mandeb is safe.”
The Bab El-Mandeb(door of Al-Mandeb) strait,which is one of the important oil shipping straits,had 4.6 million barrels pass through it during 2016. It also near an area in Yemen in which the Saudi backed government forces and Iranian supported Houthi Militias have been battling for control over.
The Houthi has threatened maritime navigation in the area before in the past over the Saudis advance to the Houthi stronghold of Hodeida. This has caused some concern among oil suppliers as the Houthis have been previously to have anti-ship missiles,and allegedly suicide boats.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Rx1MyFpgQ (houthi attack on UAE ship)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SCEZImP_9Y (Houthi attack on Saudi ship)
100,000 Iranian rials are now equal to one U.S dollars on the back of sanctions after the U.S has pulled out of the Iran Deal. The U.S has cited a security threat as its main reasoning for the sanctions and its pull out. It has always told countries that they must stop importing Iranian oil starting 4. Nov and will face U.S economic backlash is they do not comply.
Since April the Rial has lost half its value to sanctions and to a greater extent a weak economy due to 40 years of economic isolation. Some economist have theorized that it may lost upwards of 2/3rds of its oil exports. The U.S will also reimpose a ban on the purchase of dollars by Iran. Sanctions will also be imposed on Iranian carpets and food stuffs to the U.S market.
Irans European have pledged to prepare an economic relief package to Iran in response to the sanctions however France has shown doubt that they’ll be able to provide the aid required to salvage the deal.
Turkeys President Erdogan has warned that U.S request to release a U.S pastor accused of espionage will lose a crucial ally accusing President Trump of waging a “psychological war,”and that the U.S would lose a”strong and sincere ally”.
The Pastor in question Andrew Brunson was arrested in 2016 after being accused by Turkey of supporting a failed coup against the government and has been in jail for two years may face up to 35 years in prison if convicted.Mike Pompeo,U.S secretary of state discussed the matter with Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Çavuşoglu. Who gave no reply on the matter.
President Trump has threatened that U.S may take action against Turkey should it refuse to release the Pastor
“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”
Çavuşoglu later replied in a tweet directed at the Presidents statement
“We will never tolerate threats from anybody,”
This is one of many “issues” Turkey has with the U.S of which there are the Fethullah Gulen,who Turkey considers a terrorist and is currently under asylum in the U.S,the sale of F-35s which U.S lawmakers have been trying to block and the import of Iranian oil,which if you actually read the whole DN would know is a big no no for the U.S.
The U.S will soon start the funding of reconstruction of Iraqi Christian and Yazidi communities damaged by the Islamic States rapid expansion in 2014.
administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Mark Green said that plans are being finalized for the reconstruction of Christian and Yazidi communities in Iraq, Green said
“They’re individual projects that create the context for which people, if they so choose, can return to those communities, or not leave those communities,”
The Trump administration is redirectinga third humanitarian aid and funds that formerly passed through the UN human developement program to Christian and other religious minorities in Iraq.
This new policy has been heavily pushed by Vice President Mike Pence who has previously said the UN wasnt doing enough to help religous communities that he says have been histortically ignored and have been uprooted from ares they have lived for thousands of years by Islamic State militant.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also stated that the US will provide an additional 17 million dollars to clear land mines in areas “with large populations of religious minorities who were subject to ISIS genocide,”.
During a conference this week President Pence said that the U.S would do more to protect religous minorities around the world. He also announced the establish of a genocide recovery fund that is aimed at families trying to reconstruct themselves and recover from atrocities. a U.S official said that the agency will allow genocide survivors to get medical care, replace damaged property and reestablish livelihoods through small businesses and farms.
Mark Green said that none of the aid will be used to build any new churches rather it will be given to communities to use in their reconstruction effort saying:
“We are instead helping to restore geographic communities, as opposed to sectarian communities, which have been disproportionately hit, and also feel distant from recovery that’s taking place out of Baghdad,these are communities that are caught between the Kurdish areas, and the more economically powerful areas emanating from Baghdad.”
However some Yazidi communities have fear that Christian sympathetic administration will forget about other minority religous groups. Complaints about long Kurdish and Iraqi checkpoints,lack of larger aid, and landmines have been at the forefront of their greivances. Green has requested that the checkpoints be eased and that the Yazidis will get their fair share of aid.
“It’s very clear what the Yazidi have gone through is as disturbing as I can describe, and is ongoing. They have families that have been broken up and disappeared, as well as murder, rape and torture. We have and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance. And, as we have resources, we will continue to try to invest in projects that create this development context in which communities can be restored to some semblance of recovery.”