Foreign Policy Roundup – 8/12/19 – 8/13/19

Hong Kong

The complete shutdown of a major international airport, a very impression victory for the protesters in Hong Kong, came to end today. After two days of grounding flights, the government had enough and riot police was sent in to clear out the crowds.

The occupation of the airport began almost a week ago. The violence of the overall protests has escalated in the past few weeks, leading to injuries and clashes with police. One woman was shot in the face by an officer. This incident was used as an inspiration for the airport protests, with some protesters putting masks or patches over one of their eyes.

Travel halted through the airport, with some airlines allows a very few amount of flights to land. Concerns over pilots being involved in the protests grew as a number of pilots were removed from their posts because of their participation in the events.

China had reacted by massing military gear at the border, near the city of Shenzhen. The State PR team went to work, showing video on state-owned media and dropping passive-aggressive warns on social media.

The clear out today marks a checkpoint in this movement. A movement I believe is becoming more and more “color” based, with even the Drudge Report buying into the “fight for freedom” narrative.

Kashmir

The crackdown in the newly created “union territory” of Jammu & Kashmir has continued by the Indian military. With the Muslim holiday over the weekend, India closed larger mosques to keep protests from being organized. This and the crackdown in general will of course lead to expanded insurgency movements in the region.

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Syria

The US & Turks did end up signing a deal for a “buffer zone” in Kurdish (and American) controlled NE Syria. A length of the zone has been established, but not how wide it will be. These negotiations are going to be slow and a grind.

The ceasefire in the Idlib province in NW Syria came to an end after only three days. Russian & Syrian government forces resumed airstrikes.

Yemen

The situation in southern Yemen keeps getting worse. There is a major threat of a “civil war within a civil war”. The UAE-backed forces include a number of separatist movements and have taken not just the presidential palace, but the port city (and current capital) Aden. The government in Aden is supported by Saudi Arabia. Which in turn is allied with the UAE to fight the Houtis in the north. Fun isn’t it?

Afghanistan

Rumors were that a deal could be made this week between the US and the Taliban. Looks like after Monday that is not the case. Everything is still trending positively however.

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