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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

Top 5 Headlines: 

  • Hamas-Russia Deal.
  • Disruption of Mossad’s Drone Attack in Eastern Iran.
  • Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah Threatens Escalation if Blinken Visits Baghdad.
  • Saudi Arabia Summons Major U.S. Aircraft Carriers to Yemeni Coast.
  • Russia Allows Iranian Aircraft Access to Hmeimim Base.

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ISRAEL & PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

  1. Israeli Army Seizes Hamas Base and Strikes 450 Aerial Targets in 24 Hours. The Israeli army has taken control of a Hamas base in Gaza and launched airstrikes on 450 aerial targets within the past 24 hours. These actions are part of the ongoing conflict, now in its 31st day, where the Israeli military seeks to eliminate Hamas following a comprehensive attack on October 7th. The conflict also resulted in the death of Hamas leader Jamal Musa, responsible for the organization’s security (i24).
  2. Israeli Army Conducts Targeted Ground Operation in Southern Gaza. The Israeli army executed a limited operation in southern Gaza during the night, while continuing attacks against Hamas in the northern part of the region. The operation aimed to map buildings and clear the area of explosive devices, with confrontations leading to the death of Hamas operatives. Additionally, Israeli airstrikes targeted Gaza city and the residence of Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have evacuated the north, while Israel’s airstrikes persist in the south (Times of Israel).
  3. Hamas-Russia Deal. Russia announced arrangements for a deal with Hamas, aiming to secure the release of Russian citizens held by the group. This move has raised concerns, particularly in Israel, amid reports of potential military aid to Hamas. Russia has expressed support for Palestinian resistance and criticized the Gaza war, emphasizing a stance contrary to Israel (Yemen News).
  4. Israeli Army Announces Safe Passage for Gazan Civilians to the South. The Israeli army has provided a time window for civilians in northern Gaza to move to the southern coastal area amid ongoing hostilities with Hamas. The army permitted traffic southward from 10 AM to 2 PM, encouraging Gazans to take this opportunity for their safety. Hundreds of thousands have already evacuated as the UN estimates 1.4 million internally displaced in densely populated Gaza (Sharq Awsat).
  5. Israel’s War with Hamas to Cost Over $50 Billion. Israel’s ongoing conflict in Gaza is estimated to cost up to $51 billion, with expenses accounting for 10% of the GDP. The cost factors in an 8-12 month duration and excludes full involvement of Hezbollah, Iran, or Yemen. Half of the expenses will be related to daily defense costs, with additional losses in revenue and compensation to companies. Credit agencies have downgraded Israel’s outlook amid the conflict (Sharq Awsat).
  6. Attempted Smuggling of Hamas Fighters in Ambulances from Gaza to Egypt. Hamas attempted to smuggle its fighters from Gaza to Egypt in ambulances transporting wounded Palestinians. However, the plan was thwarted as Egypt and the United States discovered that a significant number of names on the evacuation list were Hamas fighters. In a separate incident, Israeli inspectors found oxygen concentrators intended for tunnel ventilation in Gaza (Times of Israel).
  7. Israeli Plane’s Visit to Egypt Suggests Hostage Negotiation Activity. An Israeli plane, previously used by senior officials, made a trip to Egypt, indicating potential behind-the-scenes efforts to negotiate the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza (Jerusalem Post).
  8. Netanyahu Suspends Minister Over ‘Nuke Gaza’ Remark. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu for suggesting the possibility of using a nuclear bomb on Gaza. Opposition leader Yair Lapid criticized the minister’s comment as “horrifying and insane.” Eliyahu later clarified that his statement was metaphorical but emphasized the need for a strong response to terrorism (JNS).
  9. Hamas Suspends Evacuation of Foreigners from Gaza to Egypt. Hamas has suspended the evacuation of foreigners and dual nationals to Egypt due to Israel’s refusal to allow the transfer of wounded Palestinians to Egyptian hospitals. The movement halted evacuations after Israeli airstrikes targeted ambulances carrying the injured to the border crossing (Al-Arabiya).
  10. Israeli Forces Surround Gaza, Anticipate Entry Within 48 Hours. After over a week of intense fighting, Israeli forces have completely surrounded Gaza, effectively dividing the region. The Israeli military is poised to enter Gaza within the next 48 hours, as they aim to suppress Hamas. Speculation grows about the type of combat that may unfold within Gaza’s urban streets, as Israel seeks to avoid a costly war within Hamas tunnels (The Guardian).
  11. Hamas Security Chief Killed; 34th IDF Soldier Falls in Gaza. Israel Defense Forces announced the death of Staff Sgt. Shahar Cohen Mivtach during ground operations in Gaza. He is the 34th IDF soldier killed in the conflict. Additionally, Jamal Musa, the head of Hamas’s special security operations, was killed in an Israeli airstrike (JNS).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

IRAN

  1. Iranian Foreign Minister on Gaza Conflict: “Inevitable Expansion”. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian believes that the Gaza conflict’s expansion is “inevitable” due to the escalating attacks on civilians. He cites U.S. support for Israel as the main reason behind the crisis. Amirabdollahian and the Iraqi Foreign Minister discussed their support for the Palestinian people during a phone call. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, hosted Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh in Tehran, underscoring Iran’s ongoing relations with Hamas. The details of the meeting remain secret (Sharq Awsat).
  2. Raisi Condemns Israeli Genocide in Gaza, Calls for International Action. Iranian President Raisi condemns Israel’s actions in Gaza, emphasizing the need for international efforts to end the conflict, lift the siege on Gaza, and investigate Israeli war crimes. Norway expresses appreciation for Iran’s role in the region and seeks cooperation to resolve the Palestinian crisis (Irna).
  3. Iran and Russia Discuss Gaza Crisis and Regional Concerns. Iranian and Russian foreign ministers, Amirabdollahian and Lavrov, discuss the need to end the Gaza conflict and express concerns about its regional impact. They also address a UN Security Council resolution proposed by Brazil and emphasize the importance of expanding bilateral relations (Tasnim News).
  4. Iranian media Claims Disruption of Mossad’s Drone Attack in Eastern Iran. Without much explanation, Fars News agency reported an attempted drone attack by Mossad was thwarted in eastern Iran through joint efforts of the Iranian Ministry of Security and Taliban. Three Iranians were accused of being Mossad agents and arrested while planning suicide drone missions from Afghanistan towards specific targets within Iran (Fars News).
  5. Tehran Threatens Washington: Stop Gaza War or Face Consequences. Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani warns that the United States will face severe consequences if it does not enforce an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Iran considers the U.S. militarily involved in the conflict following a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel (Al Nahar).
  6. Iran and Egypt Discuss Sending Humanitarian Aid to Gaza. The Iranian Red Crescent Society expressed its readiness to send humanitarian aid and relief shipments to Egypt to assist Gaza residents (Mehr News).
  7. Taliban Economic Delegation Visits Tehran. A 30-member Taliban “economic delegation,” led by Abdul Ghani Baradar, visited Tehran to discuss trade, transit, and regional development. The visit also touches on security issues and concerns about Afghan migrants in Iran (Iran International).
  8. Iran Moves To Spread Its Foreign Policy Wings. Iran’s new development plan proposes granting foreign policy authority to the armed forces, intelligence ministry, and nuclear agency, separate from the foreign ministry, potentially weakening its traditional role in diplomacy. This move reflects Iran’s aim to maintain its anti-Western stance while pursuing diplomacy, in line with Supreme Leader Khamenei’s vision of diplomacy and battleground as complementary strategies (Iran International).
  9. Iran and Iraq Unite on Palestine Issue. Iranian President Raisi and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Sudani emphasize their shared stance on the Palestine issue, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and condemning Israeli actions. They express support for actions to prevent further harm to Gaza’s people and discuss bilateral projects like the Shalamcheh-Basra railway (Irna).
  10. Iranian Foreign Minister Calls for Disarmament of Israel. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, urges the UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency to take immediate and continuous actions for the disarmament of Israel’s nuclear weapons. This call comes in response to a Zionist minister’s threat to use nuclear bombs against Palestinians in Gaza (Fars News).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

IRAQ

  1. Iraqi PM Visits Tehran for Talks on Gaza Crisis. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani has arrived in Tehran for official discussions with Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi. The talks will cover bilateral relations and the critical regional issue of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in Gaza (Iraqi News).
  2. Popular Mobilization Units Target U.S. Forces in Erbil. On Saturday, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) announced the targeting of the U.S. “Harir ” military base in northern Iraq using two drones, hitting their targets directly (Al Iraq News).
  3. U.S. Suspends Information Exchange with Iraq at Ain al-Asad. U.S. forces have suspended information sharing channels with Iraqi military leaders stationed at Ain al-Asad base due to recent armed attacks. The U.S. has raised concerns about the leaking of their coordinates inside the base to factions conducting these attacks (Sharq Awsat).
  4. Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah Threatens Escalation if Blinken Visits Baghdad. Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed group, has threatened an “unprecedented escalation” in Iraq if US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Baghdad. A senior leader of Kataib Hezbollah expressed that Blinken was not welcome in Iraq, using derogatory language. Blinken’s visit to Baghdad remains unconfirmed by officials (Jerusalem Post).
  5. Iran-Backed Militias in Iraq Threaten to Close Down US Embassy. An Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Iraq threatens to intensify attacks on US interests in response to the Israel-Gaza conflict, potentially leading to the closure of the US embassy in Iraq and risking regional stability (The National News).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

THE GULF REGION & YEMEN

  1. Saudi Arabia Rejects Gaza Forced Displacement, Discusses Humanitarian Aid with Blinken. Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan discussed efforts to halt military escalation in Gaza and provide humanitarian aid at an Arab-American meeting. He emphasized Saudi Arabia’s firm rejection of forced displacement of Gaza residents and condemned targeting civilians and vital infrastructure (Sharq Awsat).
  2. Saudi Arabia Summons Major U.S. Aircraft Carriers to Yemeni Coast. In a move coinciding with escalating tensions amid Riyadh’s alignment with Israel, Saudi Arabia has summoned major U.S. aircraft carriers to the western coast of Yemen. The aircraft carrier “Eisenhower” transited the Suez Canal en route to the Red Sea. This development comes amidst increased missile attacks on Israeli-held territories in Palestine by Yemeni forces. The deployment of U.S. carriers to the Red Sea raises concerns about potential actions by Yemen, including the closure of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, a vital passageway for Gulf oil to U.S. and Israeli markets. This move also coincides with Israel’s announcement of resumed U.S.-mediated negotiations for normalization with Saudi Arabia, further linking the Yemen issue with diplomatic relations (Motabaat).
  3. Qatar Calls for Uniting Efforts to Halt Gaza War and Deliver Aid. Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, emphasized the need for regional and international diplomatic efforts to secure an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. He also stressed the importance of permanently opening the Rafah crossing for the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Qatar continues its mediation efforts to release Palestinian prisoners held by Hamas, warning that ongoing airstrikes exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the region (Aljazeera).
  4. Impending Collapse of Saudi-Houthi Ceasefire. Western sources predict the collapse of the declared ceasefire between Saudi Arabia and the Houthi militias if the latter launches attacks towards occupied Palestinian territories. Allowing Houthi missiles to reach Israel or fall over Saudi soil could undermine Saudi diplomatic efforts with Iran and the Houthi rebels. The Houthi rebels, acting as Iran’s proxies in the region, may be seeking local support and attempting to establish themselves as the dominant force in Yemen willing to challenge Israel, a country with limited popularity in the Arab world (Almashhad).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

EGYPT & NORTH AFRICA

  1. Egypt Prepares to Import Rare Gas Shipment Amid Israel Conflict. Egypt is set to import a rare shipment of liquefied natural gas as the Gaza war tightens the fuel market regionally. The move reflects Egypt’s need to secure global markets due to local shortages, impacted by the Israel-Palestine conflict. Egypt traditionally exports natural gas but now looks to international sources due to local disruptions and growing domestic demand. The situation is also affecting energy-intensive industries and causing a decline in fertilizer production, with potential ripple effects on global fertilizer trade (Alaraby).
  2. Fitch Downgrades Egypt’s Credit Rating, Citing Israel War Impact. Fitch Ratings has downgraded Egypt’s long-term foreign currency credit rating to “B-” from “B” due to increased risks to external financing. The agency also revised its outlook from “negative” to “stable.” Fitch cited Egypt’s proximity to the Israel-Palestine conflict, potential refugee inflows, and the negative impact on tourism. However, expected revenues from tourism and the Suez Canal, as well as recovering external remittances, may help mitigate financing needs (Aljazeera).
  3. Tunisia Divided Over Law Criminalizing Normalization with Israel. Tunisian lawmakers are at odds over a proposed law criminalizing normalization with Israel. While some support the law, President Saied argues it would harm the country’s interests. The law defines normalization as a crime, with penalties including life imprisonment and significant fines. Tunisia has a strong history of supporting the Palestinian cause, and President Saied has referred to normalization as “high treason.” (Sharq Awsat).
  4. Darfur Clashes Could Alter Sudan’s War Course… Watchful Eye on Kordofan Resolution. Ongoing clashes between the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces in Darfur may represent a critical turning point in the conflict, with cities falling under “Support” control. Attention shifts to the remaining military strongholds in the region, while neighboring states brace for what comes next. Meanwhile, Kordofan region witnesses heightened tensions as it holds its breath for potential developments (Al Nahar).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

SYRIA

  1. Russia Allows Iranian Aircraft Access to Hmeimim Base, Israel Suspends Pre-Strike Notifications. Russia has granted Iranian aircraft access to its Hmeimim airbase in Syria for arms transport, following Israeli strikes on Aleppo and Damascus airports. Israel has halted pre-strike notifications to Russia due to escalating tensions, affecting their strained relations. Russia expressed concern about the situation and called for avoiding external intervention in the Middle East amid increased Israeli airstrikes on Syria (Halab Today TV).
  2. Human Rights Watch: Syrian Regime Continues Use of Banned Cluster Munitions and Incendiary Weapons in Northwest Syria. Human Rights Watch reports that the Syrian regime is using cluster munitions and internationally prohibited incendiary weapons in its widespread shelling of residential areas in northwest Syria. These attacks have caused civilian casualties, including children, and significant damage to essential infrastructure, such as healthcare facilities and schools (Syria TV).
  3. Russia: Israel Doesn’t Always Notify Before Syria Strikes. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, revealed that Israel doesn’t always notify Moscow before launching its strikes on Syria. He emphasized Russia’s concern about these attacks and lack of coordination, particularly on civilian airports in Damascus and Aleppo. The situation contributes to already strained Israel-Russia relations (Shaam).
  4. Iranian Militia Targets U.S. Base in Northeastern Syria. The “Islamic Resistance” militia in Iraq announced launching rocket attacks on the U.S. military base “Kharab al-Jeer” in northeastern Syria, marking another in a series of recent attacks. The U.S. has faced multiple attacks in Iraq and Syria, and experts suggest that the failure of U.S. deterrence against Iran is due to a lack of a comprehensive strategy to counter Iranian influence in the region (Shaam).
  5. Suicide March Targets Iranian Consulate in Aleppo. A suicide march targeted the Iranian consulate in Aleppo, causing four injuries in the surrounding area. This marks the first attack of its kind on the Iranian consulate in Aleppo since the Hamas-Israel war, as tensions continue to rise in Syria and Iraq (North Press).
  6. Billions in Corruption Unveiled in Syrian Phosphate Files. Following corruption revelations at border crossings, investigations have uncovered corruption involving billions of Syrian pounds in the phosphate industry. The Syrian government is cracking down on fraud in the state-owned geological institution, specifically in the phosphate sector, arresting individuals and recovering substantial sums. The investigations revealed fraud related to the phosphate trade, with contracts being falsified and quality specifications manipulated, resulting in the unauthorized export of phosphate, exploiting a fixed exchange rate of 400 Syrian pounds to the US dollar (Syria TV).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

TURKIYE

  1. Blinken and Fidan Discuss Middle East Crisis and Bilateral Ties in Ankara.U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict and bilateral relations. Blinken’s visit to Turkey follows his meetings in Israel and Jordan. Discussions also involve Gaza, regional issues, and the situation in Syria (Hurriyet Daily News).
  2. Türkiye’s Guarantor Offer for Gaza: President Erdogan’s Stand. Turkish President Erdogan proposes Türkiye’s guarantorship in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing the need for peace, rejecting plans that harm Palestinians, and expressing dissatisfaction with the EU’s response to Israel’s actions. Erdogan also pledges support to bring Israeli human rights violations and war crimes to the International Criminal Court (TRT World).
  3. Turkish Defense Announces Destruction of 15 PKK Terrorist Sites in Northern Iraq. The Turkish Ministry of Defense reports the destruction of 15 PKK terrorist sites, including weapon depots and caves, in a Saturday night airstrike in Hakurk, northern Iraq (TRT Arabic).
  4. Erdoğan Ends Communication with Netanyahu Over Gaza Conflict. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announces the cessation of communication with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to Israel’s actions in Gaza. Erdogan also emphasizes that Turkiye is not severing diplomatic relations with Israel but aims to mediate an end to the conflict through its intelligence agency chief (Hurriyet Daily News).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

LEBANON

  1. French Defense Minister Announces Armored Vehicle Aid to Lebanese Army. The French Defense Minister, Sébastien Lecornu, has confirmed that France will send dozens of armored vehicles to the Lebanese Army to enhance its patrol capabilities and coordination with UN peacekeeping forces in light of escalating tensions in southern Lebanon. France aims to support Lebanon amid tensions between Israel and Hezbollah and plans to provide medical supplies through a joint program (Al Nahar).
  2. Hezbollah Downs Israeli Reconnaissance Drone. Hezbollah reportedly launched a surface-to-air missile near Nabatieh, Lebanon, to down an Israeli reconnaissance drone (Lebanon24).
  3. Hezbollah Leader Threatens Escalation as Israel-Hamas War Continues. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has announced that his militia is already engaged in fighting along the Lebanon-Israel border and threatened further escalation as Israel’s war with Hamas nears its one-month mark. Nasrallah stopped short of declaring full involvement in the conflict but emphasized that Hezbollah is prepared for all options. Nasrallah’s speech marks a significant moment in determining whether the Israel-Hamas conflict will escalate into a regional war (AP).
  4. Hezbollah Deploys Heavy “Volcano” Missiles in Ongoing Conflict. Hezbollah has reportedly used heavy “Volcano” missiles for the first time in the ongoing conflict, targeting an Israeli site with significant destructive capabilities. These short-range missiles are known for their heavy warheads, causing substantial damage upon impact (Al Nahar).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Nov 4-6, 2023

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