It is expected that in the first quarter of 2018, challenges to the security situation in the Middle East and North Africa region will primarily stem from fresh escalations in Syria.

In Syria, the risk of clashes between foreign armed forces has increased, especially with the Turkish intervention against Kurdish militia in the region around Afrin, an operation which will affect the security situation in Turkey as well. The ongoing regional conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia is likely to result in further escalations linked to the Yemeni proxy war. In Lebanon, the latent risk of armed clashes involving Hezbollah units will remain high throughout the months to come after Prime Minister Hariri’s revoked announcement of stepping down challenged the country’s political status quo.

Since these conflicts have the potential of spilling over into previously less affected countries in the region, monitoring their dynamics is of high importance to security managers.

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