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IDF Operations Against Hamas, Hezbollah Strikes, Iraqi Militia Threats, Turkiye Reconciliation Efforts

IDF Operations, Hezbollah Strikes, Iraqi Threats, Turkiye Reconciliation

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Top Headlines: 

  • Hezbollah Strikes Multiple Israeli Military Outposts
  • Iran Expands Proxy Influence, Israel Vows Strong Response
  • IDF Conducts Major Operations Against Hamas and Islamic Jihad
  • Largest Attack on Syrians in Turkiye
  • Iraqi Militia Threatens to Target Oil Pipeline to Jordan

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ISRAEL-HEZBOLLAH CRISIS

  1. Hezbollah Strikes Multiple Israeli Military Outposts

From Friday night to Sunday night, hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah significantly escalated. The conflict began with Hezbollah launching rockets into northern Israel on Friday, leading to Israeli artillery retaliation. On Saturday, Hezbollah targeted Misgav Am with Iranian-made anti-tank missiles, prompting Israeli air strikes on southern Lebanon. Hezbollah continued its offensive with multiple rocket and explosive drone attacks, including a drone strike in the Golan Heights on Sunday that injured 18 Israeli soldiers. They also targeted several Israeli military sites, hitting the 91st Division headquarters in Branit barracks with a Burkan missile and the Al-Sahl Battalion command center in Beit Hillel barracks with a Falaq missile, causing partial destruction and casualties. Other incidents included rocket attacks near Beit Hillel and anti-tank missile strikes in Metula. Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s Deputy Naim Qassem warned in Iranian media that his group would match any full-scale Israeli war against Lebanon. In retaliation, Israeli forces launched intense raids on southern Lebanon, targeting Maroun al-Ras, Aitaroun, and Kfar Kila, resulting in the deaths of three Hezbollah members

  1. US Warship Deployment in Mediterranean

The USS Wasp has been deployed to the eastern Mediterranean. The amphibious assault ship, equipped with F-35 fighter jets, joins the USS Oak Hill and USS New York in the region. This move follows the rotation of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower out of the area. U.S. officials emphasize the deployment is primarily for deterrence, mirroring the earlier dispatch of the USS Bataan after Hamas’ attack on Israel. Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have seen daily cross-border strikes since October 7, but recent days show a reduction in attacks.

  1. Saudi Arabia Urges Citizens to Leave Lebanon Immediately

Saudi Arabia has urged its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately due to escalating tensions between Hezbollah and Israel. The Saudi Embassy in Lebanon emphasized the need for citizens to adhere to the travel ban and to contact the embassy in case of emergencies. This warning comes amid increasing fears that the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel could escalate into a broader war, especially with ongoing hostilities and failed proposals to halt the Gaza conflict.

  1. Arab League Renews Contacts, Ends Hezbollah Terrorist Classification

Arab League Deputy Chief Hossam Zaki visited Beirut and met with Hezbollah officials to renew contacts following the league’s decision to stop classifying Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. This visit aimed to restore diplomatic and communication channels with the group, reflecting a shift in the Arab League’s approach towards Hezbollah. The meetings included discussions with Hezbollah lawmaker Muhammad Raad, marking the first engagement of its kind in over a decade and signaling a potential change in regional dynamics and diplomatic relations. This reversal of the 2016 decision, which was opposed by Lebanon and Iraq, facilitates renewed contacts with the group and aims to curb Hezbollah’s extremist activities.

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ISRAEL & PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

  1. IDF Conducts Major Operations Against Hamas and Islamic Jihad

On Sunday, Israeli forces led extensive operations against Iranian-backed groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood, the IDF killed 40 Hamas operatives and uncovered new tunnel networks using the 98th Division. Concurrently, precision operations in Rafah eliminated several operatives and destroyed tunnel shafts. Additional operations in Bureij and Deir al Balah dismantled underground terror tunnels and seized weapons. In the West Bank’s Tulkarem, an Israeli drone strike killed Saeed Jaber, a top Islamic Jihad commander, and injured five others. Jaber’s home, used for planning attacks, was targeted as part of intensified IDF operations since October, resulting in over 80 terror operatives killed and 4,200 arrests. In retaliation, the Islamic Jihad group launched 20 rockets from Gaza’s Khan Younis area into southern Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported no damage or injuries, as several rockets landed in open areas and others were intercepted by air-defense systems. In response, the IDF struck the sources of the rocket fire with artillery. 

  1. Gaza Aid Pier Removed Again Due to Weather Concerns

The U.S.-built pier for delivering aid to Gaza, which has already cost millions, has been removed due to weather damage and might not be reinstalled unless aid distribution resumes effectively. Despite the pier’s role in bringing over 19.4 million pounds of food into Gaza, most aid remains in adjacent storage due to attacks on humanitarian convoys. The U.N. halted its use of the pier on June 9 after a nearby Israeli raid, citing security concerns. The $230 million project, intended as a temporary solution, has faced multiple setbacks, including rough seas and logistical challenges, leading to criticism from relief groups and lawmakers. U.S. officials are uncertain about the pier’s future deployment, pending discussions with aid agencies and security evaluations.

  1. Ultra-Orthodox Jews Protest in Jerusalem Against Compulsory Military Service

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested in Jerusalem against compulsory military conscription following a Supreme Court decision to draft ultra-Orthodox men. The protests turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police, who used mounted officers and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Five people were arrested. The long-standing exemptions from military service for ultra-Orthodox men expired three months ago, and new legislation to formalize these exemptions has not been passed. The court’s decision affects about 63,000 men, potentially boosting military capacity amid conflicts in Gaza and tensions with Hezbollah. This ruling poses a serious setback for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s right-wing religious government. 

  1. Israel Seeks International Support Against ICC Warrants

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has reached out to 25 foreign ministers, urging them to submit legal opinions to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against issuing arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Katz emphasized Israel’s independent judicial system, arguing that ICC intervention is unnecessary. The ICC Prosecutor, Karim Khan, has requested warrants for alleged war crimes in Gaza, marking a historic move against leaders of democratic nations. Britain has requested a hearing on the ICC’s jurisdiction, with other countries invited to submit opinions by July 12.

  1. Israel’s Missile Propulsion Test Highlights Advanced Capabilities in Arms Race with Iran

On June 24, Israel conducted a significant missile propulsion test at Palmahim Air Base, underscoring its advanced technological capabilities and strategic deterrence. Although Israeli officials did not detail the propulsion system, the test signals Israel’s commitment to enhancing its missile technology amid rising tensions with Iran. International reports suggest the missile fell in the Mediterranean Sea, with maritime restrictions east of Malta during the test. Israel’s test aligns with routine operational readiness, despite coinciding with Iran’s alarming progress in its ballistic and nuclear programs, as reported by the IAEA and other sources.

  1. Ministers Clash Over Unapproved Release of Gaza Hospital Chief

Israeli ministers are demanding answers after the unapproved release of Muhammad Abu Salmiya, director of Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, and 50 other detainees. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was reportedly unaware of the decision, which was handled by the IDF. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir criticized the Shin Bet chief, calling for his dismissal. The release has ignited a fierce debate within the government over security protocols and prisoner management, with various ministers questioning the legality and rationale behind the move. The Defense Ministry acknowledged the anger, emphasizing the decision fell under IDF jurisdiction.

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YEMEN

  1. US Army Destroys 3 Houthi Drone Boats in the Red Sea

The US Army announced the destruction of three Houthi drone boats in Yemen over the past 24 hours in the Red Sea, citing a “self-defense clash.” The US Central Command detailed this in a Monday morning post. Concurrently, the US and Britain are conducting strikes on Yemeni sites as part of an international coalition aimed at protecting global navigation.

  1. Houthis Expand Influence in North Africa, Targeting Israel

Recent intelligence reveals that the Houthis, originating from Yemen, are expanding their reach into North Africa, including Sudan, Egypt, and Morocco, with plans to target Israel. Fighters are expected to move from Yemen to these regions and collaborate with pro-Iranian armed groups in Iraq. This expansion poses a potential threat to the Strait of Gibraltar and increases the risk of missiles landing in the Mediterranean. A joint operations room involving Hezbollah and other armed groups has been established, indicating the Houthis’ ambitions to create a broader empire.

  1. US Tests Confronting Houthis Without Aircraft Carrier

The US is adjusting its strategy against Houthi attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, opting to defend ships without deploying an aircraft carrier. The Pentagon has announced the redeployment of the aircraft carriers Eisenhower and Truman. Instead, the US will rely on joint forces, including fighter squadrons stationed in the Middle East. Challenges include prioritizing forces in the Pacific and limited regional support. Smuggling of Iranian weapons to the Houthis continues, complicating efforts. The US seeks to encourage regional participation and maintain a sustainable peace in Yemen.

  1. US Central Command Reports Destruction of Houthi Drones and Control Station

The US Central Command announced the destruction of seven drones and a ground control station belonging to the Houthi group within 24 hours. The Houthis had previously claimed the targeting of four ships in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, including an American vessel. The British Maritime Trade Operations Authority reported an incident 13 nautical miles from Yemen’s port of Mokha. Twelve small boats approached the ship, circled for an hour, then left. The ship and crew are safe, continuing their journey.  Recently, the Houthis claimed the US and UK conducted a raid on Hodeidah International Airport.

  1. Houthi Militia Unveils Advanced Destructive Weapon

Yahya Saree, the Houthi militia’s military spokesman, announced the introduction of a new weapon with advanced technology and high destructive capacity. This naval weapon, described as a boat, will be demonstrated targeting the Transworld Navigator ship. The Houthi group, backed by Iran, has previously claimed the development of a supersonic ballistic missile.

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IRAN

  1. Iran Expands Proxy Influence, Israel Vows Strong Response

Iran’s influence now spans Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa, highlighting its regional ambitions.

Iran’s growing proxy the Houthi’s influence in the Mediterranean is raising concerns for Israeli security. Yemen’s Houthi rebels are expanding in North Africa, with plans to attack Israel from these regions. Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah is coordinating with Houthis and Shiite militias to target strategic points like the Strait of Gibraltar. Additionally, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is reportedly coordinating with Houthis and Shiite militias in Iraq, suggesting a broader strategy to threaten strategic points like the Strait of Gibraltar from Moroccan territory. Major General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s IRGC, vowed that the resistance front, including Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria, will respond to any act of aggression. In Mashhad, he highlighted the global support for Gaza, citing rallies in the US and Europe. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared that Iran’s threats of a “war of annihilation” warrant total destruction of any regime posing such threats. Katz’s statement followed Iran’s warning at the UN that an Israeli military operation in Lebanon would trigger a comprehensive war involving all resistance factions.

  1. Record Low Turnout in Iran’s Presidential Election

Iran’s recent presidential election on June 28 witnessed a historically low voter turnout, with only 39.92% of the 61.5 million eligible voters participating. This marked the lowest turnout since the Islamic Republic’s establishment in 1979, breaking the previous low of 48% in 2021. The runoff between pro-reform candidate Masoud Pezeshkian and ultra-hardliner Saeed Jalili, scheduled for July 5, follows widespread calls for boycotts. Many Iranians expressed disillusionment, believing the elections were neither free nor fair, with suspicions of manipulated turnout figures. The U.S. State Department also criticized the elections, emphasizing the regime’s failure to uphold democratic principles and human rights.

  1. Despite Infrastructure Issues, Iran Proposes Nuclear Collaboration with Iraq

Iran is grappling with record high levels of gas flaring due to infrastructure issues. In 2023, gas flaring surged by 19% to 20.4 billion cubic meters, the highest since 2012 as reported by the World Bank. Addressing this issue requires $5 billion, representing 8.5% of Iran’s total gas production. Inadequate gas collection technology during rising oil production has led to a 16.3% increase in greenhouse gas emissions, totaling 927 million tons. The outdated gas network is causing winter energy deficits and reduced gas exports. Despite these challenges, Iran’s top military advisor to Khamenei hosted Iraq’s Minister of Higher Education at an Iranian university, highlighting over 80,000 Iraqi students studying in Iran. Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi proposed sharing Iran’s five decades of atomic energy expertise with Iraq, covering education, technology, and defense, reflecting Iran’s persistent efforts to project itself as a superpower.

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IRAQ

  1. Turkish Incursion in Northern Iraq Prepares for Major Offensive Against PKK

Turkiye has increased its military presence in Iraq’s Dohuk province, indicating a major operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) may be imminent. Turkish forces have distributed leaflets in border villages, urging civilians to avoid PKK areas for their safety. The operation follows recent Turkish advancements and the establishment of checkpoints. Local sources reported Turkish control over seven villages and ongoing efforts to expel PKK militants. This move aligns with a security agreement between Baghdad, Ankara, and Erbil, although it raises concerns about Iraqi sovereignty and potential civilian harm. Julie Asaad, a member of the Movement for Change, called for urgent intervention by the Iraqi parliament regarding the Turkish military presence in the Kurdistan region. Asaad criticized the silence of both the Kurdistan and federal governments on Turkish actions. The American Peacemaker Teams reported that the Turkish army has moved 300 tanks and 1,000 soldiers into the region, establishing a security barrier and occupying multiple villages. This military advance could lead to the Kurdistan Regional Government losing control over 75% of Dohuk Governorate.

  1. Islamic Resistance in Iraq Bombs Target in Eilat

On Monday, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for bombing a vital target in Eilat using drones. This action is part of their response to ongoing Israeli aggression against Gaza since October. The group emphasized their commitment to continuing attacks on enemy strongholds, aiming to retaliate for the sustained conflict in Gaza.

  1. Iraqi Militia Threatens to Target Oil Pipeline to Jordan Amid Regional Tensions

An Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, the “Iraqi Resistance Coordination,” has threatened to attack US interests in Iraq and the region if Israel initiates a comprehensive war on Lebanon. The group discussed these threats following heightened tensions between Israel and Hezbollah. They criticized the Aqaba-Basra oil pipeline, claiming it depletes Iraq’s resources and facilitates normalization with Israel.

  1. Iraq and Total Energies Sign Agreement for 1,000 Megawatt Solar Plant

Iraq has signed an agreement with Total Energies to establish a 1,000-megawatt solar energy plant, expected to be completed by 2025. This plant will provide electricity to over 350,000 residential units. Haider Makiya, head of Iraq’s National Investment Commission, stated that the project aligns with the government’s plan to diversify energy sources. Total Energies emphasized that this will be one of the largest solar energy stations in the Middle East and North Africa region.

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SYRIA

  1. Largest Attack on Syrians in Turkiye: Kayseri Riots Triggered by False Allegations

In Kayseri, Turkiye, Syrians experienced a night of terror as riots led to mass attacks, destruction, and burning of Syrian property following false allegations of a Syrian man molesting a Turkish girl. The violence, sparked by misinformation, resulted in significant damage to cars and shops. Security forces eventually restored order. Officials clarified that both the accused and the victim were Syrian, and the accused suffers from a mental disorder. The incident has fueled anti-Syrian sentiments, with political figures exploiting the situation to call for the deportation of Syrian refugees. President Erdogan condemned the attacks on Syrian refugees in Kayseri, attributing the violence to opposition rhetoric. Erdogan emphasized that hate speech and incitement for political gains are unacceptable. The Turkish Interior Minister confirmed the arrest of 67 individuals involved in the attacks. The incident has intensified debates on the Syrian refugee presence in Turkiye, with opposition figures calling for mass deportations. Erdogan reiterated the need for non-discriminatory policies and denounced the exploitation of such incidents for political purposes.

  1. Syrians Launch “Big Prison” Campaign Against Forced Deportations in Turkiye

Syrians initiated a social media campaign, “A Big Prison,” to condemn Turkish authorities’ forced deportations of Syrian refugees back to northern Syria. This campaign arises amid the resumption of relations between the Syrian and Turkish regimes. Participants posted pictures with hands over their mouths, symbolizing international silence on the issue. Syrian refugees fear increased deportations due to Turkiye’s changing stance and rapprochement with the Assad regime. Additionally, the Turkish city of Kayseri saw violent attacks by locals on Syrian refugees, resulting in burned homes, shops, and damaged property, escalating fears among the refugee community.

  1. Assad’s Limited Role in Potential Hezbollah-Israel Conflict

Analysts believe Bashar al-Assad will adopt a neutral stance in a potential war between Hezbollah and Israel, similar to his position during the Gaza conflict. Assad’s regime lacks the logistical capacity to influence the situation, despite the presence of Iranian militias and Hezbollah in Syria. Israeli strikes on Iranian assets in Syria and the heavy militia presence underscore Assad’s limited control. Even if Assad wanted to restrict Iranian support to Hezbollah, his capabilities are insufficient. The situation today differs significantly from 2006, highlighting Assad’s marginal influence over logistical support to Hezbollah.

  1. Tensions Rise in Inkhil with Clashes and Siege

The city of Inkhil, north of Daraa, is experiencing clashes between local fighters and Syrian regime forces near the State Security center, following a re-imposed siege. Locals demand the release of detainees from Inkhil and Jassim. The blockade on the center intensified after the regime’s delay in negotiations for the release of Nasser Alaa Al-Nasser. Additionally, young men from Jassim have blocked roads and imposed a siege on a checkpoint, demanding the release of three detainees. The Menket Al-Hatab checkpoint is notorious for arrests and blackmailing families for financial gain.

  1. Iranian Flag Raised Over Kafranbel by Militias

Syrian activists shared a video showing the Iranian flag raised over a tall building in Kafranbel, southern Idlib. Iranian militias, controlling Kafranbel and parts of southern Idlib and northern Hama since 2020, have displaced residents from cities like Kafranbel, Saraqeb, Maarat al-Numan, and Khan Shaykhun. Post-displacement, these militias engaged in widespread sabotage and theft of homes. They are now focusing on changing the demographic composition of these strategic areas, having displaced over a million residents to central and northern Idlib. Similar flag-raising was noted in Saraqeb last year.

  1. Russia Withdraws Forces from Idlib for Campaign Against ISIS in Homs Desert

Russia has pulled military reinforcements from Idlib fronts, redirecting them to the Homs desert to launch a major operation against ISIS cells. This follows a failed campaign that resulted in significant casualties. According to sources, Russia-supported units including the 25th Special Tasks Division, the 5th Corps, and the 11th Division, along with the Syrian regime’s Republican Guard, have moved a large convoy of tanks, rocket launchers, and artillery to the eastern Homs countryside. The new campaign aims to comb areas in Al-Sukhnah and Palmyra after previous efforts resulted in over 70 deaths and 100 injuries among Syrian regime forces and allied militias.

  1. Arab Liaison Committee on Syria to Meet Soon in Baghdad

Syrian regime media report that the postponed meeting of the Arab Liaison Committee on Syria will soon take place in Baghdad. Al-Watan newspaper, citing an Arab diplomatic source, confirmed that all participating Arab parties have agreed to convene the meeting. The committee, originally scheduled to meet in May, was postponed due to a need for further consultation, particularly requested by Jordan. The committee, formed in May 2023, aims to implement the Amman Statement and facilitate dialogue for a political solution in Syria. Previous frustrations arose due to the Syrian regime’s lack of adherence to the Arab Initiative.

  1. Erdogan Shows Willingness for Assad Rapprochement

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed readiness to normalize relations with Bashar al-Assad, following Assad’s openness to such initiatives. Erdogan highlighted past meetings with Assad and indicated a willingness to restore diplomatic ties. However, Syria conditions progress on Turkiye’s withdrawal from northern Syria, which Ankara currently rejects. Ankara is also deeply concerned about upcoming municipal elections in areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeastern Syria, viewing them as a step towards establishing a “terrorist state” on its southern borders. Turkiye has requested a bilateral meeting without third-party involvement. The discussions, supported by several countries including Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China, aim to explore political and field agreements. Russia is leveraging Turkish discontent over local SDF elections to advance these talks. Analysts are divided: some view it as a political strategy to counter Turkish opposition, while others see a real desire for dialogue. Turkish writer Muhannad Hafezoglu believes normalization is distant due to Syria’s unstable control, while Yusuf Katiboglu points to mutual security interests. This has provoked criticism from Syrian opposition figures and demonstrations against the rapprochement. Former Syrian Coalition head Moaz Al-Khatib and other analysts have voiced concerns over the political implications, while human rights activist Anwar al-Bunni sees it as a revelation of hidden agendas. The head of Turkiye’s largest opposition party, Ozgur Ozil, offered to mediate the dialogue, emphasizing the need for refugee repatriation. Former Turkish ambassador Omar Anhon highlighted Turkiye’s shift towards cooperation with Assad, influenced by regional and international actors. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have closed crossings between their territory and areas controlled by the Syrian regime without official announcements. Protests in Al-Bab and Azaz in Aleppo’s countryside erupted on June 28 following the announcement of the “Abu Al-Zendin” crossing’s opening. This crossing links opposition-held Al-Bab with regime-controlled eastern Aleppo. The discontent stems from fears of political shifts favoring the regime.

  1. Syrian Regime Uses Lebanese Businessmen to Evade Sanctions and Boost Captagon Trade

Documents reveal that the Syrian regime is using Lebanese businessmen to bypass international sanctions and re-enter the SWIFT financial system. Lebanon is being utilized as a financial hub for managing the regime’s Captagon trade profits, estimated at $57 billion annually. Syrian companies are being registered under Lebanese names to access global banking networks. This strategy mimics Iran’s evasion tactics by developing local SWIFT alternatives. This could enhance drug trade operations despite ongoing Western sanctions. Iranian companies are also moving to invest in Syria’s pharmaceutical sector, focusing on cancer medications, with the Syrian government considering these proposals.

  1. Syrian Regime Restructures Army: Attracting Volunteers and Financial Incentives

After 13 years of conflict, President Bashar al-Assad is restructuring Syria’s depleted army, focusing on attracting volunteers and financial compensation. New policies aim to discharge long-serving reservists and offer volunteer contracts with incentives. Major General Ahmed Suleiman outlined a phased plan to reduce reserve service terms, aiming to build a volunteer-based army. Critics argue the moves are financially motivated, seeking to expand cash allowances for those avoiding service. Analysts suggest the restructuring aligns with Russian advice to rely more on volunteers. However, deep-rooted corruption and political ties make meaningful reform challenging.

  1. Reassessing Compulsory Service in Syria

Syria’s army faces multiple challenges before potentially abolishing compulsory and reserve service. With ongoing territorial occupations and a complicated Golan issue, a robust army remains crucial for national defense. Historically, compulsory service was marred by corruption, with officers profiting from conscripts. Today, Assad’s regime still leverages the army for personal gain rather than national security, focusing on internal repression. Proposed changes to conscription aim to project stability and victory but may further institutionalize corruption and exploitation. Despite military expenditure, the army has failed to defend against external threats, reflecting Assad’s prioritization of regime survival over national interests.

  1. Uncertainty Surrounds Reopening of Key Roads in Northern Syria

Negotiations between Turkiye and Russia aim to open commercial crossings and resume traffic on international roads in northwestern Syria, potentially easing economic hardships. However, the positions of key political and military actors, including opposition factions, remain unclear. Recent statements from Turkish officials suggest a shift towards normalization with the Assad regime, potentially impacting the reopening of crossings like Abu Al-Zendin. This development could reshape regional trade routes but faces obstacles due to ongoing political and security complexities. The outcome of these negotiations and their impact on the region’s stability and economy remain uncertain.

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 EGYPT

  1. Sisi Rejects Attempts to Displace Palestinians from Gaza to Egypt

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared Egypt’s rejection of attempts to displace Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt, amidst the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza. Speaking during the June 30 anniversary, Sisi emphasized Egypt’s firm stance against forced displacement, highlighting the country’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid and protect its national security.

  1. Egypt Denies Agreement on Rafah Crossing and Rejects Forces in Gaza

A senior Egyptian source denied reports that Egypt agreed to transfer the Rafah crossing or build a new port near Kerem Shalom. The source confirmed Egypt’s refusal to allow Egyptian forces into Gaza, insisting that the arrangement of Gaza’s affairs post-conflict is a Palestinian matter. Egypt maintains its stance on not opening the Rafah crossing under Israeli control and holds Israel accountable for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

  1. European Companies Sign €40 Billion in Deals with Egypt

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that over 20 European companies signed agreements totaling more than €40 billion with Egypt during the Egyptian-European Investment Conference. This development underscores Europe’s position as Egypt’s largest trade and investment partner. The agreements aim to stabilize Egypt’s economy and reduce migrant flows to Europe. Additionally, Egypt signed four financing agreements with the EU worth €299 million. The conference highlights Egypt’s investment potential and the strategic partnership between Egypt and the EU, focusing on sectors like trade, energy, and infrastructure.

  1. $12 Billion Green Hydrogen Project Launched in Egypt

A consortium comprising Egypt’s Infinity Power and Hassan Allam, UAE’s Masdar, and Britain’s BP is investing $12 billion in a green hydrogen project in Egypt. The project, located in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, aims to produce green hydrogen using renewable energy, addressing Egypt’s energy shortages and supporting its goal of generating 42% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The project, set to complete in stages over ten years, will have an 8-gigawatt capacity. This initiative is part of Egypt’s broader plan to attract over $81 billion in green hydrogen investments by 2035.

  1. Egyptian Tunnels Authority Secures 74 Billion Pound Loan to Settle Contractor Debts

The National Authority for Government Tunnels in Egypt is borrowing up to 74 billion pounds from a consortium of 10 local banks, including the National Bank and Misr Bank, to pay contractors’ dues. The 15-year loan, guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance, will cover debts and fund upcoming projects. This move follows the 2020 amendment to the Tunnel Authority law, allowing it to leverage assets for operational costs and national projects. The Authority is currently working on the high-speed train network and two monorail lines, with significant milestones expected by the end of the year and early 2025.

  1. Egyptian Coalition Plans to Import Shale Gas from the US

An alliance of five Egyptian companies announced plans to establish a new company to import liquid ethane gas (shale gas) from the United States. This initiative aims to address Egypt’s natural gas supply shortages impacting the electricity and industrial sectors. The coalition includes the Egyptian Petrochemical Holding Company (EKEM), Sidi Kerir Petrochemical Company (Sidpec), the Egyptian Company for the Production of Ethylene and Its Derivatives (ETHYDCO), the Egyptian Natural Gas Company (GASCO), and Gamma Construction Company. The project’s capital is set at $663 million, with 40% funded by shareholders and 60% through bank loans. This move follows recent power outages and gas supply issues in Egypt.

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 THE GULF

  1. ADNOC Logistics Signs $2.5 Billion Contracts for 8 LNG Tankers

ADNOC Logistics and Services has signed contracts worth $2.5 billion with Samsung Heavy Industries and Hanwha Ocean to build at least eight liquefied natural gas carriers. The agreements, disclosed to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, include building four confirmed tankers with an option for additional tankers. Deliveries will begin in 2028, with tankers leased to ADNOC group companies for 20 years. This will expand ADNOC’s LNG tanker fleet from 14 to at least 22. Each carrier will have a 174,000 cubic meter capacity and feature fuel-efficient, low-emission engines.

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 TURKIYE

  1. Turkish, Iranian FMs Discuss Gaza Conflict’s Regional Risks

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Iran’s acting top diplomat, Ali Bagheri Kani, discussed the Gaza war and its potential regional spillover in a call on June 30. They focused on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and rising tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah has been clashing with the Israeli military. Fidan emphasized the risk of the conflict worsening tensions in Lebanon, potentially affecting Iraq and Syria. They also exchanged views on combating terrorism and bilateral issues related to the economy and transportation.

  1. Turkish Intelligence Head and Hamas Bureau Chief Discuss Gaza Cease-Fire

Ibrahim Kalin, head of Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization, and Ismail Haniyeh, chief of Hamas’ political bureau, discussed Gaza cease-fire negotiations, including steps for a lasting cease-fire, hostage-prisoner exchange, and humanitarian aid. Kalin expressed condolences for the loss of Haniyeh’s sister in an Israeli attack and reiterated Türkiye’s support for the Palestinian people.

  1. Turkish Support for Lebanon Angers Israeli Foreign Minister

Turkish President Erdogan’s support for Lebanon amid rising tensions with Israel has incited anger from Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz. Katz condemned Erdogan on social media, accusing him of denying Israel’s right to defend itself against Hezbollah’s attacks, calling Erdogan’s actions shameful. Erdogan criticized Israel’s actions in Gaza and Lebanon and Western support for Israel, labeling Netanyahu as dangerous. Erdogan reaffirmed Turkiye’s support for Lebanon in discussions with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, amidst ongoing conflict between Hezbollah and Israel resulting in significant casualties.

  1. Russian Expert: U.S. Using Kurdish Issue to Instigate Conflict Between Iran and Turkiye

Yuri Moashev, director of the Center for the Study of New Turkiye, argues in “Izvestia” that the U.S. is attempting to drive a wedge between Iran and Turkiye through the “Kurdish card.” He suggests that Turkiye will no longer tolerate U.S. weapon supplies to Kurdish forces at Iraqi Sulaymaniyah Airport. Moashev claims that American agencies aim to provoke conflict between Ankara and Tehran using misinformation. Despite historical use of the Kurdish issue to destabilize the region, Moashev believes Turkiye and Iran are adept at countering cross-border threats, citing the Astana process in Syria as an effective model.

  1. Sakarya Gas Field Production Hits 5.5 Million Cubic Meters Per Day

Turkish Energy Minister Alp Arslan Bayraktar announced that the Sakarya gas field in the Black Sea now produces 5.5 million cubic meters of natural gas daily, enough to supply 2.4 million homes. Production is expected to rise to 6 million cubic meters by August and reach 10 million cubic meters by early 2025. Discovered in 2020, the Sakarya field’s reserves have been updated multiple times, most recently totaling 710 billion cubic meters following a re-evaluation and new discoveries.

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📌 In case you missed it,

📰  THE EARLY PHOENIX June 28, 2024

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