The growing appetite for armed drones in the Middle East

FOR YEARS Al-Anad air base was the springboard for America’s drone war in Yemen. Remote-controlled Predator aircraft wielding Hellfire missiles would take off from the base in Lahej province, in the south-west, to clobber hundreds of suspected jihadists across the country. In January a familiar high-pitched whine returned to the base as a drone emerged from the clouds

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After a year of boldness, Saudi Arabia is in retreat

Nothing but bad news IN JANUARY this year Muhammad bin Salman, the young deputy crown prince who in effect runs Saudi Arabia, declared an end to his country’s “comatose” foreign policy and a determination to push back against Iran.

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Saudi Arabia’s post-oil future

IF ANYONE needed confirmation that Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, is a man in a hurry, they got it on April 25th. The 30-year-old unveiled a string of commitments to end the kingdom’s dependence on oil by 2030 which, in themselves, would be a remarkable achievement for a hidebound country.

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Fighting to a standstill

Little left to save AS IS the way of the Middle East, when a ceasefire beckons the fighting intensifies, as the fighters try to press their advantage before the jaw-jaw begins. No sooner had Saudi Arabia talked last week of halting the year-long bombardment of its much poorer neighbour than its air strikes on Yemen resumed. The UN mediator, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, could barely scramble from Sana’a before the capital was struck.

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The unbeautiful south

OFTEN called the forgotten war, the seven-month-old conflict in Yemen deserves the world’s attention given the misery it has caused. Air strikes by the Saudi-led nine-country coalition, fighting on behalf of the deposed government, have hit nearly as many civilians as rebels. A blockade of Yemen’s ports by the coalition has brought the country to the brink of famine.

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