With recent advancements in technology, more and more countries are choosing drones in warfare and conflicts. This trend has been most prominent in the MENA region, as Israel has used it on multiple occasions against Hezbollah and Hamas, Saudi Arabia used drones in the war on Yemen, as well as the US and Russia's use of drones in Syria. Drones use varied from kamikaze style to surveillance and intelligence.
The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia (also known as Hajj) will occur on Aug. 9-14; the exact dates, however depend on the local lunar sightings. The Hajj is one of the mandatory Five Pillars of Islam and every Muslim is required to perform the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. Around 2.5 million Muslims are expected to partake in the Hajj this year, posing security challenges for Saudi Arabia.
After eight months of negotiations, Saad Hariri finally formed a new Lebanese government. The Prime Minister will head the new 30-member government and will initiate urgent economic and political reforms. In a recent speech, Hariri stated that the economy will be the government’s main challenge moving forward.
Based on reports from Amnesty International, on the 1st of August, the Saudi government had arrested several female human rights activists, amongst them is acclaimed human rights activist Samar Badawi. The arrests prompted international condemnation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, mainly stemming from human rights groups. It is believed that these arrests may be aimed at appeasing conservative elements opposed to reforms in the country.