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Osama bin Laden sits with his successor Ayman al-Zawahri.

REUTERS/Hamid Mir

What We’re Watching: US kills Al-Qaida leader, Pelosi's Taiwan pit stop, Yemen holds its breath, tensions rise between Kosovo and Serbs

US kills al-Qaida leader

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Monday night to make an announcement 21 years in the making: the US killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike in Kabul over the weekend. Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man and key architect in the 9/11 terror attacks was killed in the first US attack in Afghanistan since the American withdrawal last August. The operation – a major counterterrorism coup for Biden – reportedly saw al-Zawahri killed at the home of a staffer to senior Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani. A CIA ground team, with the help of aerial reconnaissance, has confirmed the death. “My hope is that this decisive action will bring one more measure of closure,” Biden told loved ones of 9/11 victims. He also warned that the US “will always remain vigilant … to ensure the safety and security of Americans at home and around the globe.” With al-Qaida franchises having cropped up globally over the past decade, the death of Zawahri – who was wary of the brand’s localization and its effect on his authority – will present a challenge for control of the militant group.

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Biden-MBS Meeting Was “Total Win” for Saudis, Says Expert | GZERO World

Biden-MBS meeting was "total win" for Saudis, says expert

US President Joe Biden didn't get much out of his recent — and very controversial — trip to Saudi Arabia. Why?

His team didn't do their homework by getting the Saudis to agree on stuff in advance, says Bernard Haykel, a professor at Princeton University and confidante of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

"This was a total win for the Saudis," Haykel tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

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Biden Visits Saudi Arabia | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Biden's Saudi Arabia visit is more about strategic partnership than oil

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Want to talk about President Biden's upcoming trip to the Middle East. And this is getting a lot of attention in particular because he's visiting Saudi Arabia. You will remember, it's gotten a lot of play, that when Biden was running for the presidency, he said that Saudi Arabia should be a pariah, principally because of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, the civilian American and Saudi journalist that used to write for The Washington Post. And that if he became president, if Biden became president, that he would make Saudi Arabia and MBS into the pariah that they were. Now obviously, you're making a trip to Saudi Arabia. Biden feels very sheepish about the fact that he is doing a 180 on that statement. Life has changed and Biden wrote a piece in The Washington Post this weekend about the fact that, given where the Russians are right now, given where the Chinese are right now, the US needs to focus on whatever support it can get from other countries.
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People tour a Sana'a graveyard for Houthi fighters killed in fighting during a 2016 ceasefire in Yemen's civil war.

REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Is Yemen on the road to peace?

A powerful country invades its neighbor. The conflict quickly becomes a brutal proxy war. A horrific humanitarian crisis ensues. While much of the world’s attention has been on Ukraine for the past few months, the civil war in Yemen is now in its eighth year. But in recent weeks signs of hope for peace have emerged, if faintly. What is the latest in a grinding conflict that has provoked what the UN calls "the world's worst humanitarian crisis"?

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Annie Gugliotta & Jess Frampton

Top Risks 2022

Every year, Eurasia Group, our parent company, produces its list of the top 10 geopolitical risks for the coming year. The report is authored by Eurasia Group's president, Ian Bremmer, and its chairman, Cliff Kupchan.

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Inequity and Conflict in Yemen | UN's David Gressly | GZERO World

Inequity and conflict in Yemen: interview with UN's David Gressly

Why you should remember Yemen’s forgotten war In Yemen, the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis you’ve probably never heard of, 80 percent of people need international aid just to survive.

Two-thirds are hungry, and half don’t know where their next meal will come from.

Life is very hard in Yemen, UN Resident Coordinator David Gressly tells Ian Bremmer. Most infrastructure is destroyed, few can access clean water or health care, and many Yemenis are afraid to go outside because of landmines.

Meanwhile, 1.2 civil servants continue to show up to work, with little or no pay. If they stayed home, the state would cease to exist. The UN is asking for $3.6 billion simply to feed Yemenis and keep the lights on through 2022, but is now still short $1.6 billion. Gressly says that means many Yemenis will go hungry next year.

Regional powers Iran and Saudi Arabia have turned Yemen into a seven-year proxy war, with civilians paying the price. The country is divided between the Houthis, an Iran-backed Shia militant group, and the internationally recognized government with Saudi Arabia on its side.

It’s unlikely the conflict will end anytime soon. The Biden administration has delisted the Houthis as a terrorist organization and stopped selling weapons to the Saudis. Gressly thinks that’s a step in the right direction, but not enough.

Watch the episode of GZERO World on Yemen's forgotten war: https://www.gzeromedia.com/gzero-world-with-ian-bremmer/caught-in-the-crossfire-yemens-forgotten-war

Why Yemen’s Doctors and Teachers Work Without Pay | UN's David Gressly | GZERO World

Why Yemen’s doctors and teachers work without pay

Around 1.2 million government employees, including teachers and doctors, show up to work every day in Yemen with unpaid or partially paid salaries, committed to their fellow Yemenis. UN Coordinator David Gressly emphasizes that if their contributions are lost, the state will collapse.

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The Proxy War (Still) Raging in Yemen | GZERO World

The proxy war (still) raging in Yemen

For seven years, regional powers Iran and Saudi Arabia have fought each other... in Yemen. As usual, civilians are paying the price.

The Iranians back the Houthi rebels, who control Sanaa, while a Saudi-led coalition supports the internationally recognized government in Aden.

Unfortunately, neither side seems willing to back down, as recent fighting in Marib suggests. There's no road to peace.

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