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THE EARLY PHOENIX – August 29, 2023

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TOP HEADLINES:

TURKIYE

  1. Turkey’s Economic Collaborations with Iraq and Saudi Arabia Surge to $17 Billion (Daily Sabah). Iraq and Turkey are on the verge of finalizing a $17 billion transport deal, aiming to revitalize Iraq’s economy by facilitating efficient movement of goods from the Gulf to Europe via an extensive rail and road network. The agreement, soon to be signed with Turkey, signifies a significant economic endeavor. Furthermore, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have signed an MoU to strengthen their collaboration in mining essential minerals crucial for emerging technologies like electric vehicles and solar panels. 
  2. Upcoming Erdogan-Putin Meeting to Rekindle Black Sea Grain Deal (Daily Sabah). President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to potentially bring Russia back into the critical Black Sea grain deal. The meeting is a part of Erdogan’s ongoing diplomatic efforts to prevent a global food crisis.

ISRAEL & PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

  1. Israeli F-16s Unleash Precision Strikes on Aleppo’s Nairab Airport: A Dire Warning to Iran’s Military Supply Chain in Syria (Enab Baladi). Israeli F-16s launched a strategically calculated attack on Aleppo’s Nairab Airport, marking the third such action this year and the fourth in August. Executed from the Mediterranean without entering Syrian airspace, the strike partially damaged the airport but did not halt its operations. 
  2.  Israeli Minister Faces Backlash Over Libya Meeting (Times of Israel). Cohen blames political opponents, highlighting Foreign Ministry’s global efforts. Meeting triggered Libyan fallout, protests, and Mangoush’s firing. US reportedly angered, doubting Israel’s explanation. 

EGYPT & NORTH AFRICA

  1. BP Announces $3.5 Billion Investment Plan in Egypt’s Energy Sector (Al Sharq Al Awsat). British Petroleum (BP) plans to invest $3.5 billion in Egypt’s oil and gas sector over the next three years. BP’s CEO Bernard Looney emphasized the longstanding strategic partnership with Egypt, applauding Egypt’s development, particularly in infrastructure. 
  2. UAE’s Actions Strain Morocco-Algeria Relations (Al Chorouk Online). Despite ostensibly friendly relations, the UAE continues to antagonize Algeria, raising concerns of a potential diplomatic crisis. Credible foreign diplomatic sources revealed suspicious movements at the UAE Embassy in Algeria, further straining relations.

GULF REGION & YEMEN

  1. Saudi Fighter Jet Crashes, Crew Survives (Al-Khalij Now). On Monday, the Saudi Ministry of Defense announced that a Royal Air Force fighter plane crashed during a routine training mission at King Abdulaziz Air Base in Dhahran. The crew survived, according to Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki.
  2. Iran Denies Territorial Ambitions in Kuwait, Aims for Peaceful Resolution with Saudi Arabia (Al-Khaleej Online). A senior aide to Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Asghar Khaji clarified that Iran has no territorial ambitions in Kuwait and aims to peacefully resolve the “Durra field” dispute with Saudi Arabia.
  3. Saudi Arabia and Palestine Engage in Cooperative Talks in Amman (I 24 News). Saudi Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Nayef bin Bandar Al-Sudairi discussed cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Palestine with Hussein Al-Sheikh, Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

IRAN

  1. Iran and Iraq Agree to Disarm “Terrorist Groups” (Anadolu Ajansi). Iran announced an agreement with Iraq to disarm “terrorist groups” in northern Iraq by September 19. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani stated the groups would be moved from military barracks to unspecified camps.
  2. Macron Urges Tehran to Release French Detainees (Al Sharq Al Awsat). French President Emmanuel Macron called on Iran to release four French citizens held in “unacceptable conditions,” stating “nothing justifies the detention.”
  3. Iran Publishes Leaked US Memo, Deepening Controversy Over Malley (Iran International).Iran’s Tehran Times published an “sensitive but unclassified” US memo purportedly showing violations by suspended Iran envoy Rob Malley, as stated by Erin Smart, Director of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

SYRIA

  1. Golan Wind Turbine Construction Resumes Despite Protests and Concerns (Jerusalm Post). Construction of wind turbines in the Golan Heights is restarting after protests from Druze communities caused a temporary halt. Negotiations between Druze leaders and the Prime Minister’s Office did not yield progress. The Druze leader, Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif, stated that the freeze on construction should continue. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel opposes the decision due to potential harm to bird populations in the area.
  2. Jordanian Army Shoots Down Third Drone from Syria This Month, Citing National Security (Zaman Al Wasel). The Jordanian military has reported shooting down a third drone originating from Syria within the current month. The military emphasized that the action was part of its efforts to maintain national security and protect its borders. The drone was detected crossing into Jordanian territory illegally and was subsequently downed within Jordan. The military reaffirmed its commitment to forcefully addressing any threats to its border security.
  3. SDF Arrests Military Leader of Deir ez-Zor Council Amid Escalating Tensions (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have arrested Ahmed Al-Khabeel Abu Khula, the military leader of Deir ez-Zor Council, in Hasakah city. Abu Khula was summoned to a meeting by SDF leaders, where he was arrested, resulting in escalated tensions and clashes in northern and eastern Deir ez-Zor.

IRAQ

  1. Al-Maliki Cries ‘U.S. Plot’ as Troops Near Syrian Border (Zakrous). In a comical turn of events, Nouri al-Maliki, leader of Iraq’s State of Law Coalition, took it upon himself to suggest that the U.S. was pulling the strings in the Middle East. He amusingly recalled his ‘heroic’ efforts to keep the Syrian border open, essentially saying, ‘Remember when I saved Syria? Well, turns out America is back at its meddling game.’

LEBANON

  1. Global Committees Condemn Sovereignty Violations in Lebanon (Janoubia). Coordinating Committees (CCLF-CCLC-LACC) jointly condemn ongoing sovereignty violations in Lebanon and criticize efforts to legitimize an illegitimate armed group through diplomatic channels. They emphasize the threat to national security and urge international action.

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