• Saudi Arabia Cuts Diplomatic Relations with Iran

    Saudi Arabia has announced it is severing diplomatic ties with Iran following Saturday’s attack on its embassy in Tehran during protests against executions in the kingdom. Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, made the announcement on Sunday while the foreign ministry said it was asking Iranian diplomatic mission to leave the kingdom within 48 hours. – Al Jazeera

  • Recruiting Mercenaries from Colombia to Fight in the Middle East

    Bogota, Colombia’s government is frustrated at having its top soldiers lured to the Middle East as mercenaries for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates when they are still needed to fight insurgents and drug traffickers, Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said. A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has deployed Colombian contractors, according to a former army officer who has been involved in recruiting contractors and a senior government official, who asked not to be named because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Soldiers are persuaded to quit the army when their terms of enlistment end by the prospect of earning about seven times as much in the Middle East, the former officer said. – Chicago Tribune

  • Moscow Struggles with Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the Caucuses

    Moscow is finding it increasingly difficult to coordinate the various agencies involved in its counter-terrorist effort in the North Caucasus, and its shortcomings in that regard are “being paid for by the blood” of local residents, according to Rasul Kadiyev, a lawyer and political analyst. Kadiyev says in an article on the site Kavkazkaya Politika that the recent events in Derbent where forces which claimed to be part of ISIS attacked and killed some local people “confirm that mistakes in providing security” reflect the difficulties the Russian authorities are having in coordinating their counter-terrorist actions. – Interpreter Mag

  • Indian Troops Kill Five Terrorists in Punjab

    In a pre-dawn attack, a group of heavily-armed terrorists, suspected to belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the Air Force base, leading to a fierce gunbattle in which three security personnel were killed along with five attackers. – The Hindu

[Featured image: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir gestures announces kingdom is cutting ties with Iran. January 3, 2016 | AFP]