Military Clashes, Narcotics, and Convictions in the Middle East

Written by Bushra Bani-Salman – September 5, 2022

Iranian naval ship releases U.S. sea drones into the Red Sea

Thursday, September 1st, an Iranian naval ship seized U.S. sea drones in the Red Sea and released them on Friday, per U.S. Navy request. U.S. officials stated that cameras were missing from the sea drones, but it is unclear if they were taken by the Iranians or fell off when being pulled in or out the water.

Narcotics confiscated in Saudia Arabia

Eight people were arrested by Saudi Arabian authorities after confiscating close to 47 million amphetamine pills buried in a flour shipment at a warehouse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Militia clashes in Libya leave more than 30 killed and 150 injured

Rising tensions between rival militias of different political standings left at least 32 killed and more than 150 injured in Tripoli, Libya on Saturday, August 27th. Conditions returned to normal the next day, but civilians are growingly concerned with the possibility of another civil war.

Clashes in Iraq

Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia Iraqi political and religious leader, announced his withdraw from politics, which led his supporters to protest in the streets of the Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq. Things turned violent when Sadrists stormed the government palace, clashing with Iraqi security forces. At least 30 have been killed and hundreds are injured. Sadr later called for his supporters to retreat from the Green Zone and would remain on a hunger strike until the violence stops.

Gazan aid worker convicted of diverting funds to Hamas, sentenced to 12 years in prison in Israel

Mohammed El-Halabi, Director of World Vision International’s Gaza branch was convicted in June for funding an approximated total of $50 million to Hamas for over 5 years. Halabi spent 6 years imprisoned awaiting the court’s decision and will spend 6 more incarcerated, per the verdict. While a great deal of the evidence remains classified, World Vision International and the Australian government ran their own audits showing no irregularities in funds. Halabi says he will appeal the verdict.

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