How Russia Expedited Syria’s Victory

 

On Monday, Vladimir Putin unexpectedly interrupted his journey to Egypt, stopping off at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria and announcing the windup of Russia’s most successful military campaign abroad. Thousands of combat sorties have been flown, tens of thousands of terrorists and their infrastructure have been destroyed, and hundreds of Syrian cities and towns have been liberated. We have previously published accounts of how Russian pilots, special ops, marines, doctors, and diplomats spent two years helping the lawful president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, hold his country together and rid it of terrorists.

Russia enters the conflict

By the fall of 2015, the war in Syria had already dragged on for four long years. The mass anti-government demonstrations that began in March 2011 had quickly escalated into skirmishes with the military. And terrorist factions immediately “hijacked” these popular protests. Soon, the leading role in the battle against the ruling regime was being played by extremists from the Islamic State, Jabhat Al Nusra, Al-Qaeda, and many factions within what has been called the “moderate opposition” – mainly in the Free Syrian Army that has been so championed by the West. Continue reading

Chinese company to spend US$20 billion on Egypt’s new capital east of Cairo

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The pyramids are illuminated during New Year’s day celebrations on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, January 1, 2016. Photo: Reuters

 

China Fortune Land Development Co. Ltd. (CFLD) has signed a deal to develop and manage 14,000 acres (5,700 hectares) of Egypt’s new administrative capital at a cost of US$20 billion, the Egyptian cabinet said in a statement on Monday.

The new capital is one of a series of mega-projects announced by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi designed to attract foreign investment and create jobs in a country with a booming population of 91 million. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia turns to Turkey

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud during a luncheon ahead of the G-20 summit in Belek, Turkey, Nov. 14, 2015. (photo by REUTERS/Kayhan Ozer)

 

Saudi Arabia and Turkey have agreed to form a Strategic Cooperation Council to coordinate and develop relations between the countries in terms of economic, political, defense, security, education and health issues. The countries also are discussing military cooperation, especially with regard to Syria.

The custodian of the two holy mosques, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, received Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at his palace in Riyadh during the prime minister’s official visit Jan. 31. Continue reading

Is Egypt About to Fall Into Chaos—Again?

The crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula is just the latest weight on the shoulders of Egypt’s beleaguered President Sisi.

For Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, it could not have come at a worse time.

On Saturday, October 31, a passenger plane carrying mostly Russian nationals fell from the sky over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 on board. Initially, the Egyptian government (as well as the Russian) did their best to quell any suggestion that terrorism was the cause. Yet within a week, the United Kingdom had halted flights in and out of the popular tourist destination of Sharm el-Sheikh, declaring that the crash was most likely the result of a bomb on board.

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‘Supergiant’ gas field discovered in Mediterranean

A “supergiant” gas field holding the equivalent of 5.5bn barrels of oil has been discovered off the coast of Egypt, the largest ever find in the Mediterranean.

Italian oil group Eni, which announced the discovery on Sunday, said the find was enough to supply Egypt with gas for decades, in a major boost to the country’s struggling economy.

The deepwater Zohr well, almost 5,000 feet below the water’s surface and covering 100 square kilometres (40 square miles), may hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas or more. Eni said it would fast-track the development of the discovery to begin production as soon as possible.

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New Suez Canal opens: Egypt’s ‘modern wonder’ is unveiled amid promises it will boost trade – and President Sisi’s controversial position

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi rode into the new stretch of the Suez Canal on a wave of nationalist pomp, his personality cult on full display, backed by a roster of Egypt’s international friends.

The French Prime Minister François Hollande was named “guest of honour” at the ceremony in the port town of Ismailia, following the recent sale by the French of three Rafale fighter jets to the Sisi administration. Here he took prime position next to Mr Sisi himself, who had arrived, decked in full military garb, sailing down the new channel alongside a naval ship called Tahya Masr, or Long Live Egypt.

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Ships cross Egypt’s New Suez Canal in first test-run

The first cargo ships passed through Egypt’s New Suez Canal on Saturday in a test-run before it opens next month, state media reported, 11 months after the army began constructing the $8 billion canal alongside the existing 145-year-old Suez Canal.

The new waterway, which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hopes will help expand trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia, will be formally inaugurated on Aug. 6. Continue reading

Ousted Egyptian president Morsi sentenced to death

A Cairo court Saturday sentenced former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to death after his conviction in a 2011 jailbreak. Sentenced with him were 120 other defendants including  Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Badie, a former parliament speaker, Mohamed Saad El-Katatny and, in absentia, treasurer Khairat el-Shater and the radical TV preacher Yusouf Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar. Continue reading

President Obama’s Secret Meeting With Muslim Brotherhood Leaders

President Obama continues to alienate his allies.

American Muslim leaders met privately with United States President Barack Obama at the White House last week. President Obama entertained the 14 leaders for more than an hour behind closed doors. The president initially refused to report who the Muslim leaders were. When the list finally came out, it was apparent why he did not want to release the names. Continue reading