On Dec 19th, 2018, Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that he’ll be pulling US troops from Syria and declared victory over ISIS. According to various reports, Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily without consulting his security advisers nor any US allies. The US president reportedly made this decision following a phone call with Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan on Dec 14th.
US sanctions on Iran officially resumed on Monday, November 5, 2018, three years after being lifted by the Obama administration as part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The sanctions came back into full effect Monday morning, bringing crippling economic burdens on Iran’s oil, banking, shipping, and other sectors. U.S. sanctions which are aimed at more than 700 Iranian entities and individuals are expected to have dire consequences on the country’s economy.
In a dramatic move, the Trump administration has reportedly decided to end all funding to UNRWA. The UN agency responsible for Palestinian humanitarian assistance. According to reports, the decision to cut all aid to UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees was made at a meeting earlier this month between Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In a surprising move, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz addressed in a letter to US President Donald Trump his rejection of the proposed peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As such, King Salman informed President Trump that Saudi Arabia cannot support the ‘Deal of the Century’ if there is no mention of a settlement on the status of East Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital and the right of return of refugees.
In March, for the third time since the 2011 revolution, Egyptians went back to the ballot boxes for a presidential election. With a 40% turnout and 97% of the vote, Egyptians overwhelmingly re-elected Egyptian President and Former Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. However, questions remain about the legitimacy of the election, with a lack of competition and reports that some voters were offered incentives, such as food and money, to cast their votes in Sisi’s favor
In the 2 months that followed the announcement by US President Donald Trump regarding the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, tensions have escalated in the region to its highest since August. The following is a breakdown of what has transpired, and where it has transpired to.