THE EARLY PHOENIX – June 09, 2023

THE EARLY PHOENIX – June 09, 2023

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



  1. Turkiye’s New Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan Calls Sweden as NATO Bid Progresses (Al Monitor). As Western efforts to pave the way for Sweden’s accession to NATO are amping up, Turkey’s new Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, on Wednesday called on Stockholm to take concrete steps toward that goal. 
  2. Turkish Intelligence Eliminates PKK Targets in Iraq (Daily Sabah). The Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) neutralized a senior member of the PKK terrorist group and two other terrorists in Iraq, media outlets reported Thursday.


  1. China Hosts Rare Counterterrorism Talks With Iran, Pakistan (VOA). China, Iran, and Pakistan held their first trilateral counterterrorism and regional security consultations on Wednesday in Beijing. “The delegations held detailed discussions on the regional security situation, particularly the threat of terrorism faced by the region,” said a post-meeting statement in Islamabad, which shared no further details…Pakistan, Iran, and China are also concerned about growing terrorist attacks in neighboring Afghanistan. The violence is mainly claimed by Islamic State’s regional affiliate, Islamic State Khorasan. The three countries have stepped up diplomatic engagement with the conflict-ravaged country’s Taliban rulers to help them tackle the threat and bring economic stability to Afghanistan.
  2. Zarif’s Latest Statements Ignite Controversy In Iran (Iran International). Iranian former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s statements this week on various issues have led to discussions in Tehran about his intentions and plans. Reactions to Former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s five-hour appearance in a chatroom on Club House on June 6, and the statements he made about the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, relations with the United States, as well as Russia’s and China’s role in Iran’s foreign policy and a few domestic political issues have given way to varying interpretations of why he chose to speak and the timing of his move.


  1. Tens of Thousands March in Tel Aviv’s 25th Annual Pride Parade (Times of Israel). More than 150,000 revelers marched on Thursday in the 25th annual Tel Aviv Pride Parade, kicking off a weekend of festivities in the largest event of its kind in the Middle East.
  2. 5 Shot Dead in Town Near Nazareth in Apparent Gangland Massacre (Times of Israel). Five people were killed in a mass shooting Thursday in a town near Nazareth, one of the most deadly incidents of apparent criminal violence in recent years.
  3. US CENTCOM and Israel Team up in Joint Bomber Task Force Mission (Jerusalem Post). The Commander of US CENTCOM’s air forces, Lt.-Gen. Alex Grynkewich, on Thursday, announced that his forces had joined with coalition forces in the Middle East region, including Israel, for a Bomber Task Force mission. Grynkewich’s statement did not specifically mention Iran or any other adversary. Still, it is well-known that Israel and the US have been displaying their power projection capabilities to the Islamic Republic to deter Tehran from crossing the nuclear threshold and carrying out other destabilizing activities.


  1. UN to Launch Digitized Archive of IS Crimes in Iraq (Bas News). The United Nations is preparing to unveil a centralized archive containing millions of digitized documents that serve as evidence of crimes committed by the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq. UNITAD, the UN body established to investigate IS crimes in the country, initiated its fieldwork half a decade ago to bring the jihadists to justice. 
  2. Reopening of Key Northeast Syria-Kurdistan Region Border Crossing (Kurdistan 24). On Monday, the border crossing’s authority announced that operations at the entry point between the two sides have resumed…The border was closed in late May following tensions between the Region’s authorities and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), as the former accused northeastern Syria’s officials of breaching the previous cooperation agreements regarding the border. 


  1. Blinken Urges Coalition Partners to Repatriate Islamic State Fighters in Syria (Al Monitor). US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged countries to take responsibility for their citizens suspected of joining the Islamic State and whose detention in northern Syria risks creating a new generation of militants
  2. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Meets Pedersen…And Syria’s Foreign Minister Heads to Saudi Arabia (New Arab). On Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Syria, Geir Pedersen, and they discussed developments in the situation in Syria.
  3. European Union Cancels Conference with Arab League Because of the Syrian Regime (New Arab). The German ambassador to Egypt, Frank Hartmann, announced the cancellation of a conference between the Arab League and the European Union scheduled for the 20th of June. Yesterday, Tuesday, the German ambassador announced the cancellation of the conference due to the participation of the Syrian regime’s foreign minister, Faisal Al-Miqdad, indicating that a meeting between the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the European Union’s foreign policy official, Josep Borrell, will suffice as an alternative to the conference. 
  4. Lady of Hell, Asma al Assad Acquires New Projects that Include Shops in the Old City of Aleppo Despite US Sanctions (SHAM News). Media affiliated with the Assad regime revealed that the Syrian Trust for Development, run by the wife of the head of the regime, Asma al-Assad, signed agreements covering services with banks affiliated with the Assad regime to finance shopkeepers in Old Aleppo…under the pretext of financing commercial and professional projects within the markets in the Saif al-Dawla minaret in the old Aleppo.


  1. MBS Holds Call with Putin, Talks Oil Prices as Blinken Visits Saudi Arabia (Al Monitor). Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) received a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. According to Saudi and Russian state news agencies, the two leaders discussed increasing economic ties and balancing oil demand and prices.
  2. Riyadh and Washington Urge Western Countries to Take Back their Jihadist Nationals and Families from Syria and Iraq (Al Nahar). At the outset of the meeting, attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that it was “disappointing and unacceptable” that some rich and developed countries had not yet repatriated their citizens. He addressed these countries by saying, “You must do something; assume your responsibility.”
  3. Qatar and France Hold Second Session of Strategic Dialogue in Doha (Al Khaleej and Online). The Prime Minister of Qatar and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, discussed with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna, the strengthening of cooperation between their two countries in many areas, in addition to the various crises and issues in the region.
  4. Yemen: Houthi Elements Arrested While Planning Terrorist Operations (Al Hadath). Yemeni Defense Minister Lieutenant General Mohsen Al-Daari revealed the seizure of terrorist elements on their way to carry out operations in the liberated areas, as planned by the Houthi militia. This came during his meeting in the interim Yemeni capital, Aden, with the US ambassador to Yemen, Stephen Fagin, and the military attache, Mark Whitman, on Monday, according to the official Yemeni News Agency…The Yemeni Minister of Defense warned of the continuation of the Iranian Houthi smuggling of drones, missiles, and marine mines, threatening the region and international navigation.
  5. With the Participation of Qatar, “Anatolian Phoenix” Maneuvers Continue in Türkiye (Al Khaleej Online). The “Anatolian Phoenix 2023” international search and rescue maneuvers continue at an air base in the Turkish city of Konya, with the participation of military personnel from different countries, including Qatar.
  6. Saudi Energy Minister: Electrical Interconnection Project Between the Gulf States and Iraq Will Enhance Energy Security (Al Arabiya). Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that the electrical interconnection project between Saudi Arabia and Iraq would support the Iraqi electrical grid…Prince Abdulaziz added that the electrical connection between the Gulf countries and Iraq achieves tangible economic benefits.
  7. US-Gulf Military Maneuvers Conclude in Saudi Arabia (Al Khaleej Online). On Thursday, the “Resolve Eagle 23” military maneuvers were concluded in several regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the participation of forces from the Gulf states and the United States of America.


  1. Libyan Disputes Continue…Will the Bouznika Agreement on the Elections Collapse? (Al Arabiya). The Libyan 6 + 6 Committee signed an agreement on the parliamentary and presidential elections law after marathon negotiations in the Moroccan city of Bouznika… However, it seems that this agreement still lacks guarantees for its implementation.
  2. A Shark Devours a Russian Tourist in Egypt (Al Arabiya). In a tragic accident, a shark pounced on a Russian tourist in the Red Sea in southern Egypt and devoured him, instantly leading to his death.
  3. Cyclone Biparjoy: Storm in the Arabian Sea Moves northwards to Oman (The National). Oman has announced that tropical storm Biparjoy has developed into a severe cyclone…Its Meteorology Department said that the cyclone, which is around 1,100km from the Sultanate, continues to move northwards in the Arabian Sea.


  1. Suspicion of Rape Haunts him…Lebanon Summons its Ambassador to Paris (Al Arabiya). After an investigation on suspicion of rape and intentional violence in light of two complaints from two former employees, Lebanon recalled its ambassador to Paris, Rami Adwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday.
  2. Jihad Azour to Take Leave of Absence from IMF Amid Lebanon’s Presidential Race (The National). The financial agency has said that Lebanese presidential candidate Jihad Azour will temporarily step down from his role at the International Monetary Fund to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.

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