Washington Institute for Defense and Security
Security Bulletin – March 2022
United States & Europe:
- Kyiv, Ukraine: On March 16th, Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive to retake the region surrounding Kyiv. This offensive has retaken several towns in the area, pushing Russian forces back and straining their logistics.
- Washington, DC: The Biden administration has rejected a Polish proposal to hand over 28 MiG jets to be delivered by the US to the Ukrainian air force. Poland sought to have these fighters replaced with higher quality US-made F-16 models. Washington cited concerns over perceived NATO involvement in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict but encouraged allies to deliver material support on their own.
- Bucha, Ukraine: Russian forces are accused of the massacre of over 400 Ukrainian civilians in the town of Bucha. Following the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Kyiv suburb, hundreds of bodies were found, many showing signs of torture and restraint. International observers have alleged that Russia has committed many such war crimes during its invasion of Ukraine.
- Damascus, Syria: Israeli airstrikes outside the Syrian capital of Damascus killed two Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps colonels, as well as several civilians.
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: On March 18th, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited the UAE and met with crown prince Mohammad bin Zayed in the former’s first trip to a non-allied country since 2011. The meeting showed a developing relationship between one-time enemies and was condemned by the US state department.
- Sde Boker, Israel: Israel hosted the first Arab-Israeli summit on its territory referred to as the Negev Summit from March 27th-28th. The foreign ministers of Israel, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain and the UAE, as well as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met to discuss several mutual issues. These included the Russian invasion of Ukraine, deepening economic ties, and most centrally Iran and its nuclear program. The event was marred by an Islamic State shooting in Hadera, Israel which killed two border police officers. The shooting was condemned unanimously by all participants.
- Moura, Mali: As part of the ongoing war against Islamist insurgency, Malian forces allegedly backed by Russian-supported Wagner Group mercenaries sieged the city of Moura. The operation resulted in what is believed to be the single largest massacre in the course of the Malian War. Human Rights Watch estimates that over 300 civilians and an unknown amount of jihadist fighters were killed.
- Dedebit, Ethiopia: An Ethiopian government drone strike hit a camp for displaced persons set up in a local school. The strike killed at least 57 refugees and wounded more than 40 others.