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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11, 2023

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

Top 5 Headlines:

★ Massacre Site Reveals At Least 40 Babies Among Victims.
★ Assad Regime Skips First Hearing, Hague Court Cancels Subsequent Session.
★ Iraqi PM Al-Sudani Holds Talks with Putin in Moscow.
★ Houthis Warn U.S. Against Interference in Gaza Conflict.
★ Broad Consensus in Lebanon Against Hezbollah’s Involvement in War.

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

USA

  1. Biden and U.S. Officials Engage in Diplomacy for Gaza-Egypt Humanitarian Corridor. In separate discussions, President Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to minimize civilian harm in Gaza, while U.S., Israeli, and Egyptian officials are in talks to establish a safe passage for Gaza civilians. Both initiatives aim to mitigate the impact of military operations on civilians. Biden’s public stance supports Israel, but privately he advocates a more balanced approach. The details of the safe passage are being worked out among operational agencies (Times of Israel, The Guardian). 
  2. Support for Aid to Israel in U.S. Congress Despite Minor Dissent. As American aid to Israel increases in response to the conflict with Hamas, U.S. lawmakers demonstrate bipartisan backing for assistance. Senator Ben Cardin, the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, plans to advance legislation, including replenishing the Iron Dome system. Despite this unity, some Democratic members, like Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, advocate for a ceasefire alongside their sympathy for Israel. Meanwhile, others within the Democratic Party, including party leaders like Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Sen. Chuck Schumer, expresses unwavering support for Israel. Despitest this bipartisan consensus, a few lawmakers, such as Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush, criticize Israeli actions and U.S. support (Times of Israel). 
  3. US Considers Deploying Second Naval Carrier to Israel During Tensions. The United States is contemplating deploying a second naval aircraft carrier near Israel, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing US defense officials. This follows the recent move of a carrier strike group, including the Ford carrier, closer to Israel. The Pentagon plans to add fighter jets in the East Mediterranean and will start providing munitions to Israel. Turkish President Erdogan criticized the move, claiming it would lead to ‘serious massacres’ in Gaza (Jerusalem Post). 
  4. State Department Retracts Blinken’s ‘Cease-Fire’ Tweet After Israel-Hamas Conflict. The US State Department removed a tweet by Secretary of State Antony Blinken that called for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, stating it was “unfortunately worded.” The tweet was linked to a phone call with Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan. Spokesman Matthew Miller clarified the department’s stance on Israel’s right to self-defense (Anadolu Agency).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

ISRAEL & PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES 

  1. Massacre Site Reveals At Least 40 Babies Among Victims. International journalists accompanied by IDF soldiers visited the aftermath of a Hamas attack in Kibbutz Kfar Aza. They discovered the shocking reality of over 40 babies among the victims, some of whom had been beheaded. Omar Barak, an Israeli army officer, stated that when Palestinian gunmen stormed the Kfar Aza community, they “set fire” to several homes to compel their occupants to come out. He described witnessing the aftermath of the attack and mentioned seeing the bodies of two children who had been assassinated (Times of Israel). 
  2. Israel Uncovers 1,500 Bodies of Hamas Fighters; Regains Border Control. The Israeli army announced the discovery of approximately 1,500 bodies of Hamas fighters in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Military spokesperson Richard Hecht stated that security forces have largely regained control of the border. The army is also preparing infrastructure for future operations. Israeli deaths have risen to 900, while Palestinian casualties stand at 700, including 140 children and 105 women (Sharq Awsat).
  3. Israeli Forces Locate 30 Missing People in Southern Kibbutz After Hamas Assault. Israeli forces located 30 missing people in the southern kibbutz of Ein Hashlosha three days into Hamas’s assault on southern Israel. A group of 16 Israelis and 14 Thais had gone missing, prompting authorities to launch a rescue operation. The joint effort involving the military, police, Shin Bet, and various ministries used location technology to locate the group, and they were found alive and well (Times of Israel). 
  4. IDF Confirms 1,200 Deaths in Hamas Attack; Targets Hamas Positions in Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed over 1,200 civilian and military deaths due to a Hamas attack. In response, the IDF conducted extensive overnight strikes, targeting hundreds of Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip. An attempt to target Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif resulted in the death of his cousin. This marks the eighth attempt on Deif’s life (i24). 

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

IRAN

  1. Khamenei Denies Iran’s Involvement in Hamas Attack on Israel. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei refutes claims of Iran’s involvement in the recent Hamas attack on Israel. The statement comes as tensions in the region escalate (Sharq Awsat).
  2. Iranian Army Commander Warns U.S. Against Aligning with Israel. Major General Abdul Rahim Mousavi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army, warned that the United States would “accelerate its decline” if it continues to align with Israel. He urged the U.S. to act sensibly and not support what he termed as “falsehood.” The statement comes as Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian also express support for the Palestinian resistance and call for international intervention to stop Israeli actions (Al Maydeen).
  3. Iran’s proxies in Yemen and Iraq warn the U.S. against meddling in the Israel-Hamas conflict. The Houthi Movement in Yemen and a powerful Iraqi militia issued identical statements, signaling Tehran’s willingness to use its proxies against the U.S. This comes After U.S. support for Israel and plans to deploy a carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean. Both groups stated they would target American assets if the U.S. intervenes (Iran International).
  4. Iran Aided Hamas in Planning Israel Attacks. Palestinian militants planned the recent surprise attack on Israel with significant support from Iranian allies. They received military training, logistical help, and tens of millions of dollars for weapons, according to current and former Western and Middle Eastern intelligence officials (Washington Post). 

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

EGYPT & NORTH AFRICA

  1. Egyptian and Iranian Foreign Ministers Discuss Israeli Bombing in Gaza. In a recent phone call, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, discussed the ongoing Israeli bombing in Gaza. Shoukry expressed Egypt’s deep concern and briefed Abdollahian on Egypt’s efforts to de-escalate the situation and deliver humanitarian aid. Abdollahian expressed Iran’s appreciation for Egypt’s efforts in supporting the Palestinian cause (Al Maydeen). 
  2. Israel Halts Gas Exports to Egypt, Shifts to Jordan Pipeline. After escalating conflict in Gaza, Israel’s Ministry of Energy announced that Chevron has suspended natural gas exports to Egypt via the East Mediterranean pipeline. The gas will now be exported through an alternative pipeline in Jordan. The ministry also temporarily suspended production from the Tamar offshore gas field and is seeking alternative fuel sources (i24).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

TURKIYE

  1. Erdogan Warns of Escalating Gaza Conflict Due to U.S. and Israeli Actions. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed concerns over escalating violence in Gaza, warning both the U.S. and Israel. In a phone call with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Erdogan urged Israel to halt indiscriminate attacks on civilians. He also questioned the presence of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford near Israel, suggesting it could further escalate tensions. Erdogan held talks with Palestinian and Lebanese leaders and called for all parties to push for peace (Daily Sabah, Sharq Awsat).  
  2. Erdoğan and Putin Discuss the Israel-Palestine Crisis. Erdoğan and Putin discussed ways to prevent the escalation of Israel-Palestine tensions and address humanitarian needs. Erdoğan conveyed Turkey’s concerns about targeting civilian settlements (Daily Sabah).
  3. Lavrov Accuses West of Fueling Karabakh Tensions for Geopolitical Gains. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized Western involvement in the Karabakh situation, stating it serves geopolitical ambitions rather than peace. He said Brussels and Washington are destabilizing the South Caucasus. Lavrov also criticized UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for not maintaining an unbiased position, citing his remarks at the 2023 Summit for Democracy (Anadolu Agency). 

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

SYRIA

  1. IDF Retaliates to Syrian Shelling with Artillery Fire. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) responded to shells fired from Syria into Israel’s Golan Heights. The IDF retaliated with artillery and mortar fire aimed at the source of the Syrian shelling. This incident comes After rising tensions along the Lebanon and Syria borders, following rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. No injuries or damages were reported (Jerusalem Post)
  2. Assad Regime Skips First Hearing, Hague Court Cancels Subsequent Session. The International Court of Justice initiated its first hearing against the Assad regime, following a lawsuit filed by Canada and the Netherlands regarding allegations of torture and the use of chemical weapons against civilians. Despite strong appeals from the Netherlands and Canada, the Assad regime chose not to attend, resulting in the cancellation of subsequent sessions. The court was presented with disturbing testimonies of detainees describing horrifying abuses (Orient). 

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

IRAQ

  1. Badr Organization Threatens U.S. Interests Over Israel Support. Hadi Al-Amiri, leader of Iraq’s Iran-backed Badr Organization, warns of targeting American interests if the U.S. intervenes in support of Israel in the Gaza conflict. The statement comes after the U.S. pledged additional ammunition to Israel and the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the eastern Mediterranean (Al Nahar).
  2. Iraqi PM Al-Sudani Holds Talks with Russian President Putin in Moscow.  During his official visit to Moscow, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They discussed bilateral relations, cooperation in energy and oil industries, and regional issues, including the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. Al-Sudani urged Russia and UN Security Council members to take action to halt attacks in Palestine, while Putin emphasized the historical ties between the two countries and potential for constructive energy cooperation. Putin also noted efforts to de-escalate tensions between Palestine and Israel (Iraqi News). 
  3. Iran-Backed Iraqi Judge Confirms Washington D.C. Visit. Iraq’s top judge Faiq Zidan, who issued an arrest warrant for former U.S. President Donald Trump over the killing of Iranian Qassem Soleimani, confirmed a Washington D.C. visit. The trip, initially shrouded in confusion, was postponed due to current war conditions. It remains unclear if Zidan will meet Department of Justice officials during the visit (Fox News). 

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

THE GULF REGION & YEMEN

  1. UAE President Allocates $20M in Urgent Aid to Palestinians. Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered $20 million in urgent aid for Palestinians facing humanitarian crises. The aid will be channeled through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as part of the UAE’s ongoing support for the Palestinian people (Al Nahar).
  2. Qatar Holds Talks with Turkey, Iran, UK, and Jordan on Gaza Crisis. Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani discussed the escalating situation in Gaza with his counterparts from Turkey, Iran, Britain, and Jordan. The talks focused on regional and international efforts to de-escalate the conflict and protect civilians. Al Thani expressed Qatar’s deep concern and called for utmost restraint (Khaleej Online). 
  3. Saudi Arabia Calls for Urgent OIC Meeting on Gaza Situation. Saudi Arabia, currently chairing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has called for an urgent ministerial meeting to discuss the escalating conflict in Gaza. The announcement comes as the death toll rises on both sides, with the OIC condemning Israeli military aggression (Al Qudos). 
  4. Houthis Warn U.S. Against Interference in Gaza Conflict. Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, leader of the Yemeni Houthi militia, warns that the group will respond with military action if the U.S. directly intervenes in the Gaza conflict. The statement comes as Israel bolsters its northern border forces, anticipating responses from other Iranian-backed groups like Hezbollah (i24). 

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 11 – 2023

LEBANON

  1. Broad Consensus in Lebanon Against Hezbollah’s Involvement in War. Hizballah is under pressure to stay neutral during the regional tensions and border clashes with Israel. Calls for neutrality come from political and public figures due to Lebanon’s fragile state and inability to engage in large-scale conflict. Social media reflects concerns about being dragged into war and worsening the country’s existing challenges (Janoubia).

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