Shipping threats provide rough introduction to Johnson administration

The UK’s new Brexit-driven government is weakened by domestic political turmoil and finding it hard to identify a credible response to Iran’s threats to shipping. While a majority of senior ministers in Boris Johnson’s administration lack experience in high office, many of them know the Gulf fairly well. Meanwhile, an under-resourced Royal Navy cannot act alone, posing questions about whose alliance to join

Iraqi PM clamps down on militia

Prime Minister Adil Abdel-Mahdi on 1 July moved to assert his authority over the country’s many semi-autonomous militias, known as the Hashd Al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Units or PMUs), issuing executiveorder no.37 stating that they be integrated into the national armed forces by the end of the month, continuing a process begun by his predecessor Haider Al-Abadi.

Withdrawal of Emirati forces from Yemen isolates Riyadh

The UAE has been scaling back its military commitment to Yemen, in an unannounced move which appears to have been at least partly prompted by the Hodeidah peace agreement between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government of President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi signed in Stockholm in December.