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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13, 2023

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

Summary:

Verified photos reveal horrific acts by Hamas in Kfar Aza, while Israel prepares for a possible ground invasion in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes target Syrian airports, and Iranian militias reinforce positions in southern Syria. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticizes Biden’s Middle East policy, emphasizing Iran’s role in the Israel-Hamas conflict. Other key topics include France and Germany’s bans on pro-Palestinian activities, UK’s military support for Israel, and Turkiye’s stance on the conflict.

THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

Top 5 Headlines: 

  • Verified Photos Confirm Horrific Acts in Hamas’s Assault on Kfar Aza.
  • Dire Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza as Israeli Military Operation Looms.
  • Israeli Airstrikes Disable Damascus and Aleppo Airports.
  • Iranian Militias Deploy Military Reinforcements to Daraa and Golan.
  • Hamas Calls for General Mobilization in Lebanon and Camps in Support of Gaza

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

USA

  1. Pompeo Slams Biden’s Middle East Policy, Highlights Iran’s Role in Israel-Hamas Conflict. In a Fox News interview, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict and its broader Middle East policy. Pompeo accused the administration of indecisiveness, lack of transparency, and financial dealings that indirectly fund destabilizing groups. He emphasized Iran’s role in the conflict through its proxy, Hamas, and called for a robust U.S. effort to support Israel and enforce sanctions against Iran (ACLS-Fox News). 
  2. Pentagon Chief Visits Israel, No Conditions on US Arms Transfers. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to Israel Turkiye the conflict in Gaza demonstrates Washington’s support for the country. Austin is set to meet with Israeli leaders to discuss operational planning and objectives. The US has provided military aid to Israel, including Iron Dome air defense interceptors and air-to-ground munitions (Al-Monitor).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

ISRAEL & PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES 

  1. Verified Photos Confirm Horrific Acts in Hamas’s Assault on Kfar Aza. The graphic images were shown to the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Israel and later released on Twitter by the Prime Minister’s Office. Hamas Denied civilian abuse and has launched a campaign to deny allegations of kidnapping, murdering, and abusing civilians during its recent attack on southern Israel. Deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri stated that their forces did not target civilians and that Palestinian civilians entered the conflict later. Antony Blinken is: “It’s impossible for me to look at the photos of families killed – such as the mother, father, and three small children murdered as they sheltered in their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz – and not think of my own children. Young people burned alive. Women raped. Parents executed in front of their children, children in front of their parents The release aims to show “just a fraction of the horrors that Hamas carried out,” according to a spokesman for the PMO. The death toll in Israel has surpassed 1,300, mostly civilians (Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel). 
  2. Dire Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza as Israeli Military Operation Looms. Israel’s military urges over 1 million civilians in Gaza City to evacuate, signaling an impending ground invasion. The UN highlights the impossibility of such a move without severe humanitarian fallout. Critical shortages in fuel, food, and water are reported by the ICRC and UNWFP. Retaliatory attacks have resulted in over 1,500 Palestinian deaths. (Reuters ).
  3. France Bans Pro-Palestinian Protests, Germany Bans Hamas Activities. The French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, has ordered the ban of “pro-Palestinian protests” due to potential public order disturbances. In response to Hamas attacks, Germany has imposed a ban on Hamas activities and plans to extend it to the Palestinian solidarity network “Sahar.” Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized a zero-tolerance policy for anti-Semitism and incitement, with strict enforcement by security agencies. The bans are unusual actions in both countries (Sharq Awsat).
  4. Britain Sends Ships, Troops, and Spy Planes to Support Israel. The United Kingdom will send two Royal Navy ships, spy planes, and troops to support Israel in response to the ongoing conflict. British authorities aim to provide military assistance, reassurance, and evacuation capabilities due to the heightened tensions. The move comes as Israel considers the potential for further aggression, with the United States also deploying significant naval assets to the Eastern Mediterranean. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has emphasized British support for Israel during this crisis. RAF Rivet Joint spy planes will likely play a crucial role in surveillance missions over Israel (24).
  5. Iran Denied Access to Released Funds After Hamas Attack.  The United States and the Qatari government have agreed to deny Iran access to a $6 billion account for humanitarian aid in light of Hamas’ attack on Israel, according to Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo. Senators from both parties, including Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown, have called on the Biden administration to reconsider the deal. The decision followed the US-Iran deal for humanitarian aid, part of a prisoner exchange aiming to reduce regional hostilities. The fund is financed by Iranian oil sales, but the Biden administration faced increasing pressure to prevent Iran from using the funds due to the scrutiny of Iran’s relationship with Hamas (Alarabiya).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

IRAN

  1. Raisi and Assad Discuss Concerns Over Potential Israeli Actions in Phone Call. While official statements focused on the need for Islamic unity and Palestinian rights, the conversation reportedly had an underlying tone of apprehension about possible Israeli and U.S. responses to recent events. Both leaders seemed to be preparing for imminent actions that could be taken against them, contrasting with their public stance of defiance (Tasnim News).
  2. To Discuss Gaza, Iranian Foreign Minister Visits Iraq, Lebanon and Assad. During Iran’s Foreign Minister Abdollahian’s visit to Iraq, he stated that “officials” in regional nations are asking his government about the possibility of opening a new war front in the region. He explained that their answer was clear regarding future possibilities, which all depend on the actions of the “Zionist entity” in Gaza. As for his visit to Assad, Russian platform Sputnik reported that the Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit to Damascus took a detour to Lebanon after Damascus airport was subjected to an Israeli bombing, only to report that the visit was postponed until Friday (24, RT). 
  3. The Covert Alliance: Iran’s Strategic Backing of Hamas and the Resistance Axis. This analysis delves into Iran’s covert involvement in planning and supporting Hamas’s attacks on Israel, forming part of its broader strategy to eliminate the Israeli state. The report highlights Iran’s extensive role in arming, funding, and training Palestinian resistance groups, particularly Hamas. Notably, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has encouraged these attacks while distancing Iran from direct responsibility. The study also underscores the strategic implications of the conflict and warns of its wider impact on the region and the world (Memri).
  4. Iranian Newspaper Advises Caution on Anti-Israel Rhetoric. An Iranian newspaper, Ham Mihan, warns officials to be cautious with anti-Israel comments, stating it could strain international relations and turn the Iranian public against the government. This comes as Khamenei’s senior military adviser openly supports Hamas, while Khamenei himself appears to distance Iran from the group’s actions (Iran International).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

SYRIA

  1. Israeli Airstrikes Disable Damascus and Aleppo Airports. Israel launched long-range missile strikes from the Mediterranean Sea, targeting Damascus and Aleppo international airports in response to mortar attacks from Syrian territory on the occupied Golan Heights. This led to the suspension of services at both airports. Notably, the attack occurred shortly before the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, was scheduled to land in Damascus, causing the plane to return to Tehran. Israel’s military spokesperson declared intentions to target more sites in Syria in the coming days (Zaman Alwsl).
  2. Iranian Militias Deploy Military Reinforcements to Daraa and Golan. Iranian-backed militias have brought military reinforcements to the Daraa and Quneitra provinces in southern Syria. This move coincides with the “Al-Aqsa Tempest” operation initiated by Palestinian factions in Gaza. Additionally, sources report that Hezbollah reinforcements have arrived, including experts in operating drones and remote-controlled aircraft. These deployments heighten tensions in the region and mark an escalation in Iran’s presence in southern Syria, close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (Syria TV).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

TURKIYE

  1. Turkish and Iranian Parliament Speakers Discuss Palestinian Developments. Turkish Parliament Speaker, Mustafa Şentop, held a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, to discuss the military conflict between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza. They emphasized the need to halt attacks on Gaza and declared an immediate ceasefire to pave the way for a just peace. Şentop stressed the importance of addressing basic needs in the region and warned against escalating tensions. He called for collective action within the Islamic world and highlighted the value of humanitarian aid and protecting innocent civilians in Gaza (Anadolu Agency).
  2. Turkiye Urges the US to Cut Ties with Syrian Separatist Terrorists. Turkiye has responded to the US executive order on Syria by reiterating its expectation for the US to end its engagement with separatist terrorist groups in Syria. Turkiye’s Operation Peace Spring in 2019 significantly weakened the PKK/YPG and Daesh/ISIS terror groups, creating a more stable environment in northern Syria. Ankara urges Washington to support its stability-oriented policies for Syria’s unity and territorial integrity, emphasizing the importance of deep-rooted relations between the two allies (Anadolu Agency).
  3. Turkiye Continues Deportations During Escalating Military Situation – International Law Implications. Turkiye’s ongoing deportation of Syrians, coinciding with a military escalation in northwestern Syria, raises concerns about potential violations of international agreements. Despite its previous hosting of 3.6 million Syrian refugees, Turkiye’s recent forced deportations are viewed by some legal experts as contrary to international law, specifically the principle of non-refoulement. Turkish authorities are responding to domestic pressures, and the international community is wary of forced deportations, considering the dire living conditions in Syria (NPA Syria).
  4. Erdogan Denounces Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza, Calls for International Action. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed concern about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, emphasizing that withholding essential resources like electricity, water, food, and fuel from 2 million people is inhumane and violates the laws of war. Erdogan called on the international community, particularly Western nations, to address the crisis. He also questioned the U.S. policy’s role in restoring peace to the Israel-Palestine conflict and criticized Israeli actions, which have further exacerbated living conditions in Gaza (TRT World).
  5. Türkiye-Africa Business Forum Fosters New Collaborations. The Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum in Istanbul is set to strengthen economic relations between Türkiye and African nations. The Turkish Trade Minister highlighted the growth of trade and cooperation, with bilateral business volume rising from $5.4 billion in 2003 to $40.7 billion in 2022. Investments by Turkish business people in Africa reached $10 billion, while Turkish contractors engaged in projects worth $85.5 billion. The forum aims to further expand cooperation and partnerships, with a goal of achieving $75 billion in bilateral trade between Türkiye and Africa (TRT World).
  6. Russia and Türkiye Collaborate to Combat Fake News. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has emphasized the need for Russia and Türkiye to work together to counter the impact of fake news and provocative stories in the media. Lavrov believes that media outlets can play a crucial role in building trust and mutual understanding between the two nations. He called for joint efforts to address common challenges and threats in the information sphere and minimize the effects of disinformation. Collaboration in the media sphere is seen as beneficial for both countries and contributes to bilateral dialogue (Hurriyet Daily News).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

IRAQ

  1. Northern Iraq’s oil exports halt causes $7 billion losses. The Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (APIKUR) reported that Iraq incurred a $7 billion loss after the suspension of oil exports from northern Iraq through the Iraqi-Turkish oil pipeline in March. Turkiye suspended exports following an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration decision, where Turkiye was obliged to pay $1.5 billion in compensation to Baghdad for oil exports by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) without federal permission from 2014 to 2018. This suspension adversely affected Iraq’s government, the KRG, and international oil companies and impacted employees and local residents dependent on northern Iraq’s oil operations (Iraqi News).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

THE GULF REGION & YEMEN

  1. Lavrov and Omani Foreign Minister Discuss Palestinian-Israeli Ceasefire. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and his Omani counterpart, Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi, emphasized the necessity of a ceasefire in Gaza and the opening of humanitarian corridors during a recent phone conversation. The discussion revolved around Middle East peace efforts, particularly in light of the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone. Both ministers highlighted the urgency of halting hostilities and establishing humanitarian pathways to prevent further casualties and aid affected civilians and the wounded (RT-Arabic).
  2. Assad’s Overture to Saudi Arabia: Yemeni Embassy Handover Orchestrated by Iran. Syria’s decision to return the Yemeni embassy in Damascus to the internationally recognized government appears to be a calculated move to appease Saudi Arabia. Likely orchestrated by Iran, the move suggests that Assad’s regime is acting under Tehran’s directives to maintain Saudi support, casting doubt on the sincerity of the decision (Belqees).
  3. US Magazine Reports Houthi Militants Amassing Arsenal, Contemplating Israel Strikes. According to the American magazine Newsweek, Iran-affiliated Houthi rebels possess a substantial stockpile of drones and missiles and are prepared to enter the conflict, potentially targeting Israel should the situation in Palestine and the region escalate, and Iran becomes involved. The Houthi group is closely monitoring developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and expressed its readiness to join the war to support the Palestinian people’s resistance (Almashhad Alyemeni).
  4. Saudi Crown Prince Receives Calls from Global Leaders Urging Gaza De-escalation. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received phone calls from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, discussing the situation in Gaza, the necessity for de-escalation, ending the blockade, and protecting civilians. The Crown Prince emphasized Saudi Arabia’s efforts to intensify regional and international communication to halt the ongoing military escalation, including lifting the Gaza blockade, and promoting peace while ensuring Palestinian rights (Alhadath).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

EGYPT & NORTH AFRICA

  1. Egypt Diverts International Aid for Gaza to North Sinai Airport, Urges Avoiding Rafah Crossing Targeting. Egypt has announced that international aid meant for the residents of the Gaza Strip will be directed to the international airport in Al-Arish, North Sinai. Egypt asserts that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza remains open and has not been closed at any stage during the current crisis. Egypt has called on Israel to avoid targeting the Palestinian side of the crossing. While Egypt is trying to facilitate the delivery of aid, the situation within the Gaza Strip is hindering these efforts. Egypt is working towards de-escalation, protecting civilians, and promoting calm in the region (France24).
  2. Turkish Foreign Minister Visits Egypt for Bilateral Relations Discussion. Turkiye’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Minister Hakan Fidan will undertake an official visit to Egypt tomorrow, in response to an invitation from Minister Sameh Shoukry. During the two-day visit on October 13 and 14, both sides will discuss various aspects of Turkiye-Egypt relations and exchange views on current regional developments and international issues (Almasry Alyoum).
  3. Money Laundering Heightens the Depletion of Libya’s Wealth. The recent gold and hard currency smuggling case through Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport has brought the issue of money laundering to the forefront in Libya, further depleting the country’s wealth. The absence of a functioning state, along with widespread corruption, has allowed money laundering crimes to become prevalent. Despite various efforts and the ongoing investigations, these issues continue to pose a significant challenge for the nation (Sharq Awsat).
  4. European Investment Bank Commits €1 Billion Loan to Morocco for Post-Earthquake Reconstruction. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged to provide Morocco with a €1 billion loan over a three-year period to support post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in areas affected by a recent violent earthquake. EIB Vice President Maurizio Filippi emphasized that their role goes beyond financing, aiming to establish a more resilient and prosperous future in all earthquake-affected regions of Morocco. The EIB’s contribution focuses on flexibility, sustainability, and leveraging the bank’s expertise and resources to repair earthquake-related damages and build resilient and sustainable infrastructure. This funding is part of a comprehensive program dedicated to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of earthquake-affected areas, with a total budget of MAD 120 billion (€12 billion) allocated over five years (Eleqtisade News).

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THE EARLY PHOENIX – Oct 13 – 2023

LEBANON

  1. Hamas Calls for General Mobilization in Lebanon and Camps in Support of Gaza. Hamas has urged the Palestinian people in Lebanese camps, cities, and villages to participate in a general mobilization on the upcoming Friday under the banner “Al-Aqsa Storm Friday.” The call aims to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and their resistance and gather support to confront the Israeli army (Annahar).

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