The DailyBrief

Tuesday June 20, 2017

Iran-Syria, what next? Iran says it fired six ground-to-ground missiles from Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps bases in Western Iran and claims they hit Islamic State targets in Syria “with high precision after flying through the Iraqi airspace.” M.K. Bhadrakumar writes that although the missile strike clearly constitutes a snub to the US, there are other more important downstream implications.

China’s nimble reactors: Beijing’s development of new and small-scale nuclear reactor designs that could be used in isolated regions, on ships and even aircraft, is part of an ambitious plan to wrest control of the global nuclear market. David Stanway reports that within weeks state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation will start piloting a small modular reactor dubbed the “Nimble Dragon” on the southern island province of Hainan.

Rohingya murders rise: Officials in Myanmar indicate at least 33 Rohingya civilians have been murdered in the last seven months, several of whom occupied village-level administrative positions or were believed to be government informants, reports Kayleigh Long. Although the number of deaths pales in comparison to the body count racked up during the military’s brutal counterinsurgency campaign last year, the killings suggest the conflict in northern Rakhine State has entered a dangerous new phase.

Is Duterte fading? It’s almost a month into the on-going siege of Marawi by a large contingent of Islamic State-linked fighters and Manila now faces a daunting post-conflict reconstruction challenge and a real threat of renewed clashes. Jason Castaneda writes that President Duterte now also faces challenges and needs to reassure Filipinos about his personal health while also displaying effective leadership to help address the region’s growing ISIS problem.

Singapore-first family feud: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong apologized to the Singapore nation on Monday evening as a family feud with his younger siblings continued to play out over social media. Kirsten Han reports that the rare public split between members of the country’s first family has captivated Singaporeans while raising hard questions about Lee’s style of governance.