Deaths due to heat in Middle East & North Africa likely to rise 60 times by end of century

Over 80% deaths can be prevented by limiting global warming to 2°C

Kiran Pandey

Down To Earth | April 11, 2023

The number of heat-related deaths in the countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is likely to increase 60 times by the end of this century, warned a new study released April 3, 2023.

In comparison to two deaths (2.1) per 100,000 people estimated currently, about 123 people per 100,000 are expected to die of heat-related causes annually by the end of this century under high-emissions scenarios, the report stated.

High-emissions scenario refers to a scenario called shared socio-economic pathway (SSP)5-8·5, where the current CO2 emissions levels roughly double by 2050. This reflects the SSP representing a fossil fuel intensive world. 

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Analyses on recent geo-political development

‘Russia alone can already confront the entire West…’

President Vladimir Putin (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of talks in restricted format, Kremlin, Moscow, March 21, 2023

The Russian media reported that President Vladimir Putin made an extraordinary gesture as President Xi Jinping left the Kremlin following the state dinner last week on Tuesday evening by escorting him to the limousine and seeing him off. 

And Xi during the goodbye handshake reportedly responded, “Together, we should push forward these changes that have not happened for 100 years. Take care.” 

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Erdogan weighs up Russia, dares Biden

Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s (R) friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) annoys the US (File photo) 

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has disclosed that Russian President Vladimir Putin may attend the nuclear fuel loading ceremony on April 27 at the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. 

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov deftly handled the political bombshell, choosing not to refute Erdogan’s statement. According to Erdogan, Putin’s participation in the ceremony may form part of an official visit. 

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OPEC: Saudis aren’t afraid of US anymore

The shock oil production cuts from May outlined by the OPEC+ on Sunday essentially means that eight key OPEC countries decided to join hands with Russia to reduce oil production, messaging that OPEC and OPEC+ are now back in control of the oil market.

No single oil producing country is acting as the Pied Piper here. The great beauty about it is that Saudi Arabia and seven other major OPEC countries have unexpectedly decided to support Russia’s efforts and unilaterally reduce production. 

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Regional isolation of Syria may end soon

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad. (Photo: Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Saudi Arabia may invite Syria to attend the upcoming Arab League summit in Riyadh in May, Reuters reported on Sunday, April 2, quoting three unnamed sources close to the process. The report confirms the trend of Syria’s reintegration in regional politics after over a decade of isolation.  

While not officially confirmed yet, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan is likely to visit Syrian capital Damascus in the coming weeks to formally invite Syria for the summit, the report claims.

The Arab League summit is scheduled to be held from May 19.  

Saudi Arabia and Syria have agreed to reopen their respective embassies in Damascus and Riyadh after Ramadan this year. 

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Iran-Saudi Rapprochement: Signs of Waning Influence of USA in the Region

Countercurrents | March 12, 2023

The Iran-Saudi Arabia rapprochement has wide reactions.

An NBC report — What does the Iran-Saudi Arabia truce mean for Washington’s standing on the global stage? (March 11, 2023, — said:

As some world leaders hailed the restoration of ties between long-standing enemies Iran and Saudi Arabia, there were growing fears in Washington that the deal could help spell the end of the United States’ pre-eminence in the region and beyond.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres celebrated the announcement, expressing his appreciation to China for brokering the deal.

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Turkey ‘playing its last card’ as it faces defeat in Iraq Kurdistan, Kurdish guerillas say

Morning Star | September 30, 2021

Guerrilla Aliser and Guerrilla Arin

KURDISH guerillas said today that Turkey was “playing its last card” in its invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan as its forces face fierce resistance.

“The enemy cannot move freely in the areas he occupies,” guerilla Aliser said of the Turkish troops, thousands of whom are engaged in a military offensive in the mountainous border region of Duhok.

Kurdish resistance fighters are carrying out frequent attacks to prevent the soldiers from advancing.

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Pentagon official warns Middle Eastern countries against aligning with China and Russia

Morning Star | June 02, 2021

President Joe Biden

SENIOR Pentagon official Dana Stroul warned Middle Eastern countries against aligning with Russia or China for security on Tuesday.

Speaking in an online webinar at the Middle East Institute, she urged support for the US instead, insisting that nations would gain more from strategic relationships with Washington.

“To me, the choice is clear between what you can get from China or Russia and what you can get from the United States,” she said.

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Massive resistance in all parts of Palestine amid deadly Israeli assault

Richard Becker

Liberation | May 15, 2021

In just the last week, the situation in occupied Palestine and the larger region has seen a dramatic shift. A new wave of resistance has sparked militant mass protests not only in cities and towns across the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, but also in many Palestinian or “mixed” cities inside the 1948 borders of Israel. Protests were reported May 14 in Jordan and Lebanon, and at least nine Palestinians were killed by live-fire ammunition in West Bank protests with many more wounded.

The importance of the mobilization in all four parts of Palestine cannot be overstated. Israel is determined to crush these protests with unlimited violence, but so far the demonstrations have continued to spread.Read More »


Syria Demands Immediate Withdrawal of US Forces

Peoples Dispatch | January 21, 2021

Syria’s ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari, Credit: Syrian Arab News Agency

Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations and its deputy foreign minister, Bashar al-Jaafari, demanded the immediate withdrawal of all US troops from the country that are illegally occupying parts of Syrian territory and plundering the country’s oil and gas resources. He was speaking at a virtual conference of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, January 20.

Al-Jaafari also accused the US of aiding and supporting terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra who still control parts of Syria’s Idlib province, in their attacks on the Syrian people. He alleged that occupation forces and terrorist groups act together to loot Syria’s economic resources or burn and plunder items when confronted, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.Read More »

Syrian Kurds face continued Turkish aggression despite ceasefire agreement, new report finds

Morning Star | May 25, 2020

TURKEY continues to breach an international ceasefire in northern Syria, launching frequent air strikes against civilians and infrastructure, according to a new report.

The Rojava Information Centre has published a 52-page dossier documenting the current situation in the largely Kurdish area that was invaded by Turkish forces in Operation Peace Spring in October 2019.

Many of the atrocities are well documented, including the judicial execution of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalef by jihadist forces working with the Turkish armed forces.

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Iraq Condemns US Air Strikes, Warns of Consequences

teleSUR | March 13, 2020

The NATO training mission in Iraq is separate to the far bigger foreign military deployment in the country led by the US

The Iraqi military warned the air strikes would have consequences while the foreign ministry said it summoned the U.S. and British ambassadors.

Iraq condemned overnight U.S. airstrikes on Friday, saying they killed six people and warning of dangerous consequences for a “violation of sovereignty” and targeted aggression against the nation’s regular armed forces.

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Turkey’s Erdogan faces growing resistance over involvement in Syria’s civil war

by Conn Hallinan

People’s World | March 10, 2020

Turkey’s Erdogan faces growing resistance over involvement in Syria’s civil war

The AKP government is once again using the refugees as a bargaining chip following the losses in Idlib on Feb. 27. Saying that it can no longer hold the refugees and will open the borders, the AKP once again has showed that it’s using the refugees as a political tool and a weapon. Peoples’ Democratic Party website.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest gamble in Syria’s civil war appears to have come up snake eyes. Instead of halting the Damascus government’s siege of the last rebel held province, Idlib, Turkey has backed off, and Ankara’s Syrian adventure is fueling growing domestic resistance to the powerful autocrat.

The crisis began Feb. 25, when anti-government rebels, openly backed by Turkish troops, artillery, and armor, attacked the Syrian Army at the strategic town of Saraqeb, the junction of Highways 4 and 5 linking Aleppo to Damascus and the Mediterranean. The same day, Russian warplanes in Southern Idlib were fired upon by MANPADS (man portable air-defense systems), anti-aircraft weapons from Turkish military outposts. The Russian air base at Khmeimim was also attacked by MANPADS and armed Turkish drones.

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