Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Guinean strongman Colonel Mamady Doumbouya pardoned two army officers jailed in 2013 for attacking the residence of ex-president Alpha Conde.
  • AMERICAS: Mexican federal police arrested Porfirio Javier Sanchez, the Secretary of Security of Aguascalientes state, on charges of torture.
  • ASIA: The UN Security Council called for an immediate cessation of violence throughout Myanmar and reaffirmed support for the country’s democratic transition.
  • EUROPE: US President Joe Biden and his President Emmanuel Macron pledged to coordinate their response to Russia’s military buildup on the Ukrainian border.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Defense minister Benny Gantz visited the US Navy Fifth Fleet’s headquarters in Bahrain as part of an unannounced trip amid heightened Gulf tensions following drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: The US National Reconnaissance Office reported the successful launch of its newest satellite via a reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Top Story

  • Syria: US Forces conducted an anti-jihadist operation in the northwest with civilian casualties.
    • The Pentagon said US special forces successfully conducted a counter-terrorism mission in northwest Syria near the Turkish border, a raid which Syrian sources said was believed to have targeted an al Qaeda-linked jihadist.
    • Residents in the northern Idlib province said they heard helicopters about 1 a.m. local time, and later, the sound of heavy clashes.
    • First responders at the scene reported 13 people had been killed, including six children and four women from a house that was a target of the operation.
    • Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a brief statement that there had been no US casualties in the Special Operations forces mission and more information would be released as available.
    • During the operation, one of the American helicopters suffered a mechanical problem, was forced to land and was later destroyed by American attack aircraft.
    • The opposition stronghold of Idlib province is dominated by the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a rival of IS that was al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria until it broke off formal ties in 2017.
    • Reuters, WaPo, AP, NBC News, NYT, BBC

Africa

  • Burkina Faso: The ruling military junta lifted a nationwide curfew imposed after seizing power in a coup last month. (AFP)
  • Guinea: Strongman Colonel Mamady Doumbouya pardoned two army officers jailed in 2013 for attacking the residence of ex-president Alpha Conde. (AFP)
  • Guinea-Bissau: The government said the attackers in a failed coup intended to assassinate the president and were part of a well-funded and tightly planned plot. (Reuters)
  • Mali: The chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said that a coup in the country was “contagious” and had set a dangerous trend that led to subsequent coups in the region. (Reuters)
  • South Africa: The country’s tax authority uncovered a 1.8-billion-dollar gold scam, in which coins and jewelry were illegally smelted into gold bars for sale overseas. (AFP)

Americas

  • Argentina: A batch of adulterated cocaine killed 17 people and seriously sickened 56 others in Buenos Aires. (AP)
  • Canada: Conservative lawmakers ousted Erin O’Toole as leader, angry over the main opposition party’s third straight loss to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in a 2021 election. (Reuters)
  • Mexico: Federal police arrested Porfirio Javier Sanchez, the Secretary of Security of Aguascalientes state, on charges of torture. (Reuters)
  • United States: Airline industry groups issued an open letter to the White House urging an end to pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated international passengers. (Reuters)

Asia

  • Myanmar: The UN Security Council called for an immediate cessation of violence throughout the country and reaffirmed support for the country’s democratic transition. (AP)
  • New Zealand: The government announced a plan for phased reopening of its borders. (BBC)
  • Pakistan: The Interior Ministry said four soldiers and 15 militants were killed in clashes in Balochistan province while separatists claimed dozens more died in fighting that was still ongoing. (AFP)
  • Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte is self-isolating after being exposed last weekend to a member of his household staff who had COVID-19, but Duterte has twice tested negative following the exposure. (AP)
  • South Korea: The country began enforcing a new coronavirus testing policy centered on rapid testing as health officials reported a record number of new infections following the Lunar New Year holiday. (AP)

Europe 

  • Region: US President Joe Biden and his President Emmanuel Macron pledged to coordinate their response to Russia’s military buildup on the Ukrainian border. (AFP)
  • Austria: A Vienna court ordered Facebook to remove content defaming former Greens party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek and to pay her €4,000 in damages. (AFP)
  • Russia: Moscow stepped up deployments to Belarus in recent days and was expected to have 30,000 troops there for joint military exercises this month. (Reuters)
  • Sweden: Sweden is joining other European nations in saying it will drop coronavirus restrictions from Feb. 9. (AP)
  • Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan headed to Kyiv in an effort to mediate the crisis with Russia, as EU leaders stepped up outreach to the Kremlin to defuse fears Moscow could invade Ukraine. (AFP)

Middle East

  • Afghanistan: Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the Taliban are inching closer towards international recognition but any concessions made will be on their terms. (AFP)
  • Iraq: Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said in a statement that some “terrorist outlaws” have dragged the country into a “dangerous regional war” by targeting a “Gulf state.” (Reuters)
  • Israel: Defense minister Benny Gantz visited the US Navy Fifth Fleet’s headquarters in Bahrain as part of an unannounced trip amid heightened Gulf tensions following drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates. (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that the kingdom would contribute to the stabilization of the international crude oil market. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: The United States threatened the Houthi rebels with new sanctions following drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Technology: The US National Reconnaissance Office reported the successful launch of its newest satellite via a reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. (AFP)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to Report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to Report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to Report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to Report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 03FEB22)

Tomorrow’s Outlook (04FEB22) 

  • Event: Dem Rep. Marcy Kaptur and GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick speak at Atlantic Council discussion on Russia-Ukraine conflict.
  • Event: Stimson Center discussion on urgent issues developing in the East China Sea.
  • Global: World Cancer Day.
  • Angola: Day of Armed Struggle.
  • China: Beijing Winter Olympic Games. (to 20FEB)
  • China: Visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. (to 05FEB)
  • China: Visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • France: EU justice ministers informal meeting in Lille.
  • Indonesia: Bali welcomes back fully vaccinated foreign arrivals.
  • Sri Lanka: National Day.

END