THE EARLY PHOENIX – June 03-05, 2023

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Media Intercepts of the Most Notable Events from the Middle East Selected by ACLS Experts



  1. Iraq Repatriates 50 IS Jihadists, 168 Family Members from Syria (Bas News). Iraq has repatriated 50 Islamic State (IS) jihadists and 168 Iraqi family members of jihadists from Syria, according to an Iraqi official. The move comes as part of ongoing efforts to address the issue of foreign fighters and their families.
  2. Turkish Aircraft Bomb PKK Positions in Northern Iraq (Alaraby). Security sources in the Kurdistan region of Iraq reported that Turkish fighter jets bombed positions of the “Kurdistan Workers'” militants, north of Dohuk Governorate, in the far north of Iraq.
  3. Iraq: 12 ISIS Militants Killed in Airstrikes in Diyala and Kirkuk (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Today (Sunday), the Iraqi Military Intelligence announced that Iraqi F-16 aircraft carried out successful air strikes, killing 12 ISIS members in the provinces of Diyala and Kirkuk.
  4. An Armed Iraqi Faction Announces the Start of Fighting the “American Occupation” (Rudaw Arabia). An Iraqi armed faction, calling itself the “Al-Sabireen Brigades,” announced that it would start fighting the US forces in Iraq.


  1. President Erdoğan Announces Members of Türkiye’s New Cabinet (Daily Sabah). President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced his brand new cabinet following his re-election in Türkiye’s May 28 runoff vote, with two ministers retaining their seats and many new faces to usher in a new era.
  2. Who is Hakan Fidan, Turkey’s New Foreign Minister with Spy Powers? (Al Monitor). Turkey’s shadowy and low-key intelligence chief Hakan Fidan is set to step into the limelight and take the helm of the country’s diplomacy after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tapped him as the country’s new foreign minister on Saturday.
  3. Türkiye to Send Troops to High-tension Kosovo at NATO’s Request (Daily Sabah). The Ministry of National Defense stated that after the events in Kosovo, a commando battalion was deployed upon the request of the NATO Joint Force Command, and preparations were started for the Turkish Armed Forces to be transferred to the Sultan Murat Barracks in Kosovo by June 5.
  4. Turkish President, NATO Chief Meet in Istanbul for Talks (Anadolu Agency).  On Saturday, Stoltenberg attended the inauguration ceremony of Erdogan who took the oath of office as Türkiye’s president…Stoltenberg was among those who congratulated Erdogan after his reelection victory on May 28.


  1. Iranian Navy Claims Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Others will form Naval Coalition in Northern Indian Ocean (Tehran Times).  Iran’s Navy commander has announced that a naval coalition will be formed in the northern Indian Ocean with the involvement of Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Pakistan and India, Tasnim reported on Saturday.
  2. Direct Talks Between Robert Malley and Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations (Al Sharq Al Awsat). The Financial Times reported, quoting diplomatic sources, that the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Saeed Erwani, recently held several meetings with the US Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, at a time when the US administration says that the 2015 nuclear deal is “not on the list of works.”
  3. Top Diplomats Arrange for Revival of Iran-Saudi Ties (Tasnim News).The foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia held a meeting in South Africa to weigh plans for the full restoration of relations and broaden regional and economic cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh.
  4. Iran Releases Two Iranian-Austrian Prisoners and One Danish (Tehran Times). The Iranian Judiciary on Friday released two Iranian-Austrian nationals and one Danish prisoner.
  5. Russian Firms Invest $2.7 Billion in Iran’s Oil Industry: Official (Tasnim News). Russian firms have invested $2.7 bln in Iran’s oil industry, the chairman of Iran-Russia Chamber of Commerce said. Hadi Tizhoush Taban made the comment on Friday and emphasized that use of national currencies of the two countries of Iran and Russia in rials and ruble has thus far increased by 60 percent using the removal of US dollar in bilateral transactions.
  6. US Sanctions Iranian Firm Over Internet Censorship (Al Monitor). The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions Friday targeting an Iranian company accused of supporting internet censorship…The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said Iran-based technology company Arvan Cloud has close relationships with Iran’s intelligence services and its executives have ties to senior Iranian officials. 


  1. New Syrian Civil Society Initiative to Launch This Week (Enab Baladi).  Representatives of 150 Syrian civil society organizations announced the launch of an initiative called “Civil” during the inaugural meeting at the Arab World Institute in Paris, France, on June 6…The “civil” initiative defines itself as “an entity independent of any political or foreign influence, aiming to protect the Syrian civil space and enhance its effectiveness in decision-making platforms,” and that it comes after two years of planning and the inclusion of more than 150 civil organizations extending within the regions of Syria and neighboring countries and the Diaspora.
  2. Meeting in Geneva, the Syrian Negotiation Commission Stresses Implementation of Resolution 2254 (Syria TV). On Sunday, the Syrian Negotiation Commission issued a statement after the meeting of its components in Geneva for the first time in 3 years, in which it stressed the need to implement Resolution 2254 “fully and strictly.”
  3. Autonomous Administration Accuses Assad Regime of Obstructing Evacuation of Syrians from Sudan (Syria Tv). On Friday, the Autonomous Administration in northeastern Syria accused the Syrian regime of imposing “impossible” conditions to obstruct the evacuation of Syrian refugees from Sudan.
  4. Turkish Drone Kills a Leader of the SDF East of Aleppo (Zaman Al Wasl). A military commander working within the ranks of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) was killed yesterday, Friday, after being targeted by a Turkish drone in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, northern Syria.


  1. Three Israeli Soldiers Killed on Egyptian Border Laid to Rest on Sunday (Jerusalem Post). The funerals of the three soldiers who were killed by an Egyptian police officer at the Israeli-Egyptian border on Saturday, were held on Sunday afternoon.
  2. Israeli Knesset Members Call to Change Egypt Open Fire Rules After Attack (Jerusalem Post). Knesset members called to change the IDF rules of engagement in the Egyptian border region on Saturday night, in response to the terrorist attack by an Egyptian border guard that killed three Israeli soldiers.
  3. Casting Wary Eye on IAEA, Israel Fears US is Laying Groundwork for New Iran Deal (Times Of Israel). Signs are pointing in a worrying direction for Israel. A smattering of reports, meetings and an announcement appear to indicate that the US is moving toward a new deal with Iran over its nuclear program, and Israeli officials have broadcast fears that Washington is bowing to key demands from Tehran to finalize the pact.
  4. Two Delegations from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Cairo to Discuss Truce (Alarabiya). Today, Sunday, two delegations from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements arrived in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to discuss political issues and files related to calm, reconciliation, and developments in the occupied territories…Egypt had succeeded in reaching a truce agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Jihad movement, following clashes that took place in May.


  1. Saudi Aramco is Discussing $50 Billion of Projects with Turkish Companies (Arabian Business). Erdal Eren, head of the Turkish Contractors Association, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News Agency that the giant Saudi energy company, Saudi Aramco, met with a large number of Turkish construction and contracting companies this week to discuss ways of cooperation in implementing projects worth $50 billion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in light of the improvement in economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
  2. Between the Congo and the UAE:  An Agreement to Export Gold Raises Great Concerns (The New Khalij). This week, the government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) published an agreement granting a little-known Emirati company exclusive rights to export gold mined by artisans from the country at preferential tax rates for a period of 25 years, prompting criticism that the agreement would not solve any of the problems it was supposed to address.
  3. Saudi Arabia Set to Host Major China Business Conference, as Ties Grow (Al Monitor). Saudi Arabia and China will participate in a business conference in Riyadh this month, expected to draw major businesses and investment firms, as the kingdom continues to pursue stronger economic, energy, and political ties with the People’s Republic, and despite concerns from Washington. 


  1. Two Agreements Between Saudi Arabia and Egypt to Enhance Economic Partnership (Al Khaleej Online).  Today, Sunday, the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry signed two trade agreements, as part of steps to strengthen economic partnership and trade exchange between Riyadh and Cairo.


  1. Presidential Vote Forecast:  68 Votes for Azour, 45 for Franjieh, 15 Blank (Nahar Net). Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh could garner 45 votes, while former minister Jihad Azour could garner 68, if Speaker Nabih Berri calls for a session, LBCI said in a detailed report.
  2. Gebran Bassil Says Parliamentary Blocs will Nominate Jihad Azour for Presidency of Lebanon (Al Jazeera). The head of the Free Patriotic Movement in Lebanon, Representative Gebran Bassil, announced the movement’s intersection with other parliamentary blocs on the name of Jihad Azour as a presidential candidate, among other names that the movement considered “appropriate and not provocative.”
  3. Hezbollah Bashes Lebanese Military Tribunal After its Fighters are Accused of Killing UN Peacekeeper (Times Of Israel). A Hezbollah official said Friday there was “no justification” for linking the powerful Lebanese terror group to an Irish peacekeeper’s killing, a day after a military judicial official accused five militants of last year’s attack.
  4. Lebanon to Send Investigative Team to Paris After Lebanese Ambassador Accused of Rape (Nahar Net). Lebanon’s foreign ministry has said it would send an investigation team to Paris following reports that Beirut’s ambassador to France, Rami Adwan, has been accused of rape and intentional violence.


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