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1/ If, as this thread by @yashar suggests, the #US airstrikes in #Baghdad, #Iraq lead to #Iran violently retaliating worldwide, one region of immediate concern could be the Horn of Africa.
@yashar 2/ There is latent Muslim Brotherhood presence in #Sudan, Iranian nationals have been arrested in #Kenya multiple times in recent years attempting to carry out attacks, and Iranian weapons flow across the Gulf of Aden into #Somalia.
@yashar 3/ Regarding #Kenya, in 2016 two #Iran ian nationals and their Kenyan driver were accused of planning an attack on #Israel's embassy in #Nairobi: reuters.com/article/us-ken…
@yashar 4/ Also in #Kenya, in 2013, two other #Iran nationals were sentenced to life in prison (term later reduced) after being caught with 15kg of explosives. bbc.com/news/world-afr…
@yashar 5/ #Iran's Revolutionary Guard has reportedly shipped weapons to the Houthis in #Yemen through #Somalia: reuters.com/article/us-gul…
@yashar 6/ More details here from @conflictarm on weapons made in #Iran (including anti-tank guided weapons, RPGs, sniper rifles, and apparently AKM-pattern rifles) which were intercepted en route to #Somalia and/or #Yemen, including on Iranian built vessels. conflictarm.com/dispatches/mar…
@yashar @conflictarm 7/ #Iran was also a longtime player in #Sudan under deposed former president Omar al-Bashir. Until a few years ago, Bashir allied himself with Tehran, providing a haven for Muslim Brotherhood members in particular who were not welcome elsewhere in the Arab world.
@yashar @conflictarm 8/ Although Bashir publicly switched allegiances from Tehran to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, #Sudan continued to low-key harbor Muslim Brotherhood members, especially after al-Sisi came to power in #Egypt and cracked down on the group.
@yashar @conflictarm 9/ In revolutionary #Sudan, Islamists including MB members once sustained by Bashir are adrfit. One MB member who fled #Cairo to #Khartoum in 2013, told me in May how his heart sank when Bashir was overthrown. It's easy to see how such a person may be looking for new patrons.
@yashar @conflictarm 10/ All that said, the bigger Gulf influence in the Horn of Africa still comes from #Saudi and #UAE, who have more or less successfully courted #Sudan, #Ethiopia, #Eritrea, and swaths of #Somalia / #Somaliland.
@yashar @conflictarm 11/ #UAE in particular has significant military presence or influence in multiple countries - much larger than #Iran. But this just underscores how ripe the region is for proxy conflict if #Iran decides to retaliate.
@yashar @conflictarm 12/ With close relationships (including militarily) between the #US and #Somalia, #Uganda, #Ethiopia, #Djibouti, and #Kenya, it's easy to see East Africans becoming victims of a US-#Iran conflict that has nothing to do with them. Let's hope for restraint by all sides. End.
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