Violent conflicts are spreading throughout the Middle East. Germany is working with Egypt, supporting Saudi Arabia and delivering weapons to the peshmerga – but the government opposition in Berlin is critical.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has been in office for almost a year. Soon he’s due to visit Germany. In March, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel extended an invitation on behalf of Chancellor Angela Merkel. That marked a departure from the government’s earlier position that parliamentary elections in Egypt were a precondition for an official state visit by the president. Continue reading
Many Arabs and Muslims are rubbing their hands in joy as they watch U.S. President Barack Obama declare war on Israel after the victory of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party in last week’s general election.
They do not see the rising tensions between Obama and Netanyahu as the result of a personal dispute between two leaders. Instead, the dispute is seen by many Arabs and Muslims as part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to undermine Israel and force it to make territorial concessions that would pose an existential threat to Israel.
At the beginning of his first term in office, he raised high hopes in the Arab and Islamic countries when he rushed to deliver an apologetic speech at the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Al-Azhar University in Cairo. His speech left many Arabs and Muslims with the impression that here, finally, is an American president who is prepared to sacrifice Israel for the sake of appeasing its enemies. Continue reading
(CNSNews.com) – We hear a lot about the United States’ Judeo-Christian heritage, but according to President Obama, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.”
That’s what the president told a White House conference on “countering violent extremism” on Wednesday.
Obama has said similar things in the past:
“I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story,” Obama said in a June 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt. “Islam has always been part of America,” he said in a 2010 statement marking the start of Ramadan. And in a 2014 statement marking Eid, Obama said the holiday “also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.” Continue reading
Some of the world’s most famous cities have become property of Iran. Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut—the list is growing.
Iran now controls the capital cities in four Middle Eastern nations. The Jerusalem Post reported February 8 that “Yemen falls to Iran in regional proxy war.” You will never guess who helped Iran take over this United States ally. From the Post (emphasis added throughout):
The toppling of the Yemeni government by Iranian backed Shiite Houthis has upped the ante in the regional sectarian Sunni-Shiite struggle.
Yemen is perfectly set to become a sectarian war that will see millions more in foreign funds transferred to various proxy forces in the country .… Continue reading
A day before the midnight expiration of a five-day ceasefire, Israel sent out clear messages on Sunday that it will respond massively to any type of fire from Gaza and not tolerate a long-term “war of attrition.”
“It is not clear whether there will be an agreement,” a senior diplomatic official said as the Israeli and Palestinian delegations held indirect talks in Cairo.
If no agreement is agreed upon, the official said, there are two possibilities. The first is that no cease-fire extension or agreement is reached by Monday at midnight, and Hamas renews its firing. “If that happens,” he said, “Israel’s response will be strong.” Continue reading
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the Israeli Air Force to resume strikes over Gaza Tuesday afternoon, six hours after a ceasefire proposed by Egypt, accepted by Israel and rejected by Hamas, was due to go into effect. During those hours, dozens of Hamas rockets raked town after town and village after village. debkafile: The White House called off US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Cairo visit upon finding Tehran’s hand behind the rockets. Netanyahu goes on the air at 8 p.m. to explain what went wrong.
Straight after the ceasefire was due to go into effect Tuesday at 9 a.m., Hamas fired 20 rockets from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli security cabinet had meanwhile endorsed Cairo’s proposal to mediate the conflict with the Palestinian extremists, but warned that if they continued to fire rockets, Israel would hit back with “all possible force.”
In Cairo, Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuk took responsibility for eight of the post-“truce” rockets, most of which landed on Ashdod, slightly injuring one woman. Iron Dome intercepted four. Continue reading
In the three years since construction began on the 1.8km Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam across the Blue Nile River, Egypt and Ethiopia have been engaged in a war of words over its potential impacts.
Ethiopia believes the massive dam will herald an era of prosperity, spurring growth and attracting foreign currency with the export of power to neighbouring countries. But Egypt has raised concerns about the downstream effects, as the Blue Nile supplies the Nile with about 85 percent of its water. Continue reading
Egypt’s Defense Minister Gen. Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi, 59, announced Wednesday, March 26, that he had resigned from the army after 45 years in order to run for president. No date has been set for the election, but it is expected to take place no later than July. His popularity as a strong leader in a country that craves stability above all after three years of turmoil is such that he can count on winning.
debkafile’s military sources disclose that in recent weeks Gen. El-Sisi took time off to create a new rapid intervention force as a powerful vehicle for buttressing his regime.
Maj. Gen. Tawfik Abdel-Samei, head of the Egyptian army’s central command, was chosen to head the force. He and El-Sisi handpicked 10,000 of the most able commando fighters from the various army units and consolidated them through intense courses into a special airborne force. Equipped with air transport and helicopters, it is capable of flying to the ends of the country in a crisis, along with tanks, self-propelled artillery and counter-terror measures. Continue reading
A host of Ethiopian army commanders have voiced their readiness to protect the country’s multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam project, currently at the heart of a major row with Cairo due to Egyptian fears the dam could threaten its traditional share of Nile water.
State-run television reported that military commanders had visited the project site, during which they had voiced their readiness to “pay the price” to protect the dam, which they described as a “national project.”
According to state television, the visit – the first by military commanders to the site – came as part of activities marking Ethiopia’s Army Day. Continue reading
The seeds were sewn when the Obama administration decided to overthrow the Mubarak regime and replace it with the Muslim Brotherhood, which subsequently failed as his military reinstated the previous government.
Egyptian army chief and probable next president, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, landed in Moscow Wednesday and is expected to sign up with Russia for a $2 million arms deal in another move that could diminish American influence over Cairo as well as the entire Middle East.
The United States pooh-poohed the idea that it was losing its clout in Cairo, but Russia now is set to take advantage of Saudi financial aid to Egypt and boost its defense sales and to further erode the Obama administration’s position. Continue reading
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu start a two-day visit to Cairo Wednesday, Nov. 13, to wind up a major sale of advanced Russian weaponry for the Egyptian army and the Russian Navy’s access to port facilities on the Mediterranean.
debkafile’s military sources, which first revealed the coming transactions in the last week of October, now amplify that report by disclosing that Moscow has agreed to equip Egypt with a sophisticated combined double-layered system which covers both its defensive and offensive requirements. Continue reading
Consider American influence in the Middle East 90% gone. The Saudi’s no longer trust America to follow through on its commitments to the region and have instead turned to Russia and Israel. Both Egypt and Libyia were overturned by the Obama administration and likely won’t see normalcy for quite some time. Syria and Iran can now go largely unchecked in the region as America retreats and leaves Israel out in the cold.
Moscow’s request for a naval base in Egypt submitted last week by a visiting Russian general prompted US Secretary of State John Kerry’s decision to hurry up and visit Cairo and Riyadh for an attempt to smooth their prickly relations over Washington’s policies for Syria and Iran. However, Sunday, Nov. 3, the day he stopped over in Cairo en route for Riyadh, saw a mighty buildup of Russian naval stgrength in the Mediterranean.
Russia’s Pacific Fleet flagship, the Varyag,and the powerful nuclear-fueled battleship Pyotr Veliky arrived to carry out “a number of tasks” with other Russian Navy ships in the region, according to the official statement form Moscow. Continue reading
Lt. Gen. Vyacheslav Kondrashov, Russian Deputy chief of staff and head of GRU military intelligence, spent the first day of his visit to Cairo, Tuesday, Oct. 29, with Egyptian military chiefs, going through the list of Russian military hardware items they want to buy in their first major arms transaction with Moscow in more than three decades, debkafile’s military sources report. The Egyptians asked Moscow to supply the sort of advanced weapons withheld by the United States, and topped their shopping list with medium-range intercontinental ballistic missiles that cover Iran and most of the Middle East.
They told the Russian general that Moscow’s good faith in seeking to build a new military relationship between the two governments would be tested by its willingness to meet this Egyptian requirement. Continue reading
It is not every day that one can announce a shift in world history, but this day is today. And we are now in a new era in the Middle East and the world. This is not a joke–definitely not a joke–and as you will see, it is not an exaggeration.
Let me explain. For the last seven weeks I have been in the United States, mostly in Washington D.C. I have spoken and listened to many people. As a result, I am in a position to describe for you with a high degree of accuracy what the policy will be for the next 3.5 years, and perhaps for many more.
The administration has crossed a line to, in simple terms, backing the “‘bad guys.”
This is literally true in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, the Palestinian Authority, Bahrain (with its support for the opposition), Qatar, and Turkey.
And in some ways, as we will see, the war on terrorism has been turned into the war for terrorism. Continue reading