These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
The battle of al-Tanf
All signs point to the fact that it's of very high strategic importance. The al-Tanf Crossing on the Iraq-Syria border is the key to the Baghdad-Damascus highway and links up to the main Baghdad-Amman route. Al-Tanf is now the bone of both of contention between the US and Syria backed by its allies, namely Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Jordan which is siding with the US is also involved, though the country is not a key player. it was this contest that recently prompted Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem’s warning to Jordan that any incursion from its territory into the region would be treated by Damascus as an enemy invasion.
Qatar diplomatic row
The row between Qatar and several Arab states is deepening: Qatar is facing pressure by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt. The countries accuse Doha of sponsoring terrorism. Saudi Arabia is particularly angry over Qatar's close ties with Iran that have undermined Riyadh attempts to form a so-called anti-Tehran alliance. But Qatar is defiant: It has ignored an ultimatum issued by Saudi Arabia giving the sheikhdom 24-hours to radically change its policies. As it stands, Saudi ultimatums come and go without significant. It was even speculated that Saudi Arabia would invade Qatar if Doha ignored its threats. Bu as it appears, the ultimatum has been of little value: This may signal the end of Saudi Arabia's hegemony over rival Persian Gulf Arab states, or at a minimum, it is putting the fate of the GCC group of Persian Gulf countries at risk.