Monday Briefing | November 30

Monday Briefing | November 30

Presidents Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, left, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey last year. Picture from Turkish Presidential Press Office | European Pressphoto Agency
Presidents Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, left, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey last year. Picture from Turkish Presidential Press Office | European Pressphoto Agency

Stories to follow

Tension continues to rise between Ankara and Moscow following Turkey’s shooting down a Russian bomber over Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the downing a “stab in the back”, while Turkish President Recip Erdogan has refused to apologize and warned Russia of “playing with fire” in Syria. Since the exchange of words, Putin has announced sanctions on goods and contracts for Turkish workers in Russia. Moscow has also stepped up defenses around Latakia, moving the Moskva cruiser closer to the Syrian coast and installing S-400 air defense systems near the Turkish boarder. There has also been tourism backlash, with Russian citizens refusing to spend holiday in Turkey. Russia’s foreign minister has called the decision to shoot down the plane a “planned provocation.” Read more: BBC, BBC, New York Times.

ISIS said that “soldiers of the caliphate targeted a place of worship for the apostates” in Bangladesh on 26 November. One person was killed and at least 3 injured after gunmen opened fire during prayer at a Shia Mosque in the town of Borga. Two suspects are being held for questioning, but the President has said that ISIS is “not active in the country”. This is the second attack on Shia mosques in the country. ISIS said that they have a “regional leader in Bangladesh” and threatened more attacks. Authorities have also arrested 5 persons in connection with bombings earlier this month. Read more: The Hindu, Al Jazeera, BBC.

Mali has seen an upsurge in violence following the attack on a hotel that left 22 people dead last week. On Saturday, 3 people were killed and more than 20 injured on a rocket attack against U.N. Peacekeepers in Kidal in northern Mali. The attack was claimed by Ansar Dine, who suggested that the attack was “in response for the violation of our lands by the enemies of Islam”. The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Mali said he wanted “to reiterate that these attacks will not impede the determination of the United Nations to support the Malian people and the peace process, including through assisting the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali”. Read more: Al Jazeera, CNN, Reuters.

Upcoming events:

Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Shoptalk: Careers in marketing/communications in international communications
Thursday 3 December 2015 | 6:30 pm | Mission of the Order of Malta to the UN

Reporting from the front line: VICE and WSJ
Tuesday 1 December | 7:00pm | 9/11 Memorial Museum

What hopes for the fight against impunity?
Tuesday 8 December | 6:00 pm | Ford Foundation

For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979
Wednesday 2 December | All Day | Grey Art Gallery NYU
 

On Your Free Time

Check out the BBC documentary series, The Death of Yugoslavia, which shows the collapse of the former state. It uses interviews and footage to paint a vivid picture of the conflict that arose amid the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

One of the best books I’ve read in a while, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East tells the story of how WWI transpired in and subsequently shaped the modern Middle East. Scott Anderson uses primary sources and documents to articulate what all of the players were thinking and why. A must read for anyone interested in the Middle East.

This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Jordan Clifford.

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