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US General Charles Q. Brown warns of challenges in defending Israel against Hezbollah amid escalating regional tensions.

Hamas Leaders May Move to Baghdad; US Warns it May Not Be Able to Contain an Israel-Hizballah War

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Top Headlines: 

  • Hamas Political Leaders Reportedly Planning to Relocate from Qatar to Iraq
  • Top US General Warns U.S. May Not Be Able to Defend Israel in War Against Hezbollah
  • Suspected Houthi Attack Targets Ship Beyond Previous Range
  • Iranian Presidential Election Plagued by Public Skepticism
  • France to Decide on Arrest Warrant for Syrian President Over Chemical Attacks

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ISRAEL-HIZBALLAH CRISIS

  1. Top US General Warns U.S. May Not Be Able to Defend Israel in War Against Hezbollah

General Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautioned that the US might struggle to help Israel defend against a broader conflict with Hezbollah due to the challenge of repelling shorter-range rockets from Lebanon. He also warned that such a conflict could prompt a direct Iranian military response. Brown emphasized the importance of Israel considering the broader regional impacts of any operation into Lebanon. Meanwhile, Hezbollah continues its daily attacks on northern Israel, displacing thousands and causing significant damage. The IDF is preparing operational plans to push Hezbollah north of the Litani River, aiming to bring stability to the region.

  1. Gallant and Hochstein Discuss Hezbollah Amid US Warnings Against IDF Action

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with US envoy Amos Hochstein in Washington, D.C., to address actions needed for northern Israeli residents’ safe return amid tensions with Hezbollah. This meeting followed US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General C.Q. Brown’s statement that the US may not provide extensive support to Israel in a conflict with Hezbollah, reflecting US efforts to dissuade Israel from escalating the situation. Israel’s strategy aims to enforce UN Resolution 1701, pushing Hezbollah north of the Litani River. The outcome of Gallant’s request for additional US support remains uncertain.

  1. Israeli Think Tank Says Hizbullah and Iran Plan Mediterranean Naval Campaign Against Israel

An Israeli think tank says Hizbullah, led by Hassan Nasrallah, is coordinating with Iran to open a new front against Israel in the Mediterranean Sea. The strategy aims to neutralize the Israeli Air Force and involves potential strikes on Cyprus, drone swarms, and attacks on Israeli ships and gas rigs. Nasrallah seeks to generate international pressure on Israel to prevent pre-emptive strikes. Despite no Iranian warships in the Mediterranean, long-range missiles from Lebanon or Syria pose a threat. Nasrallah warns Cyprus against cooperating with Israel, signaling a broader campaign to international and regional players.

  1. Tel Aviv Threatens Use of Unprecedented Weapons Against Hezbollah in Potential War

Israel has informed the United States that it might deploy previously unused weapons in the event of a comprehensive war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to Hebrew Channel 12. Israel reportedly says its aim is to resolve the conflict swiftly and avoid prolonged warfare. Since October 8, Lebanese and Palestinian factions, including Hezbollah, have exchanged fire with Israel, standing in solidarity with Gaza amid ongoing Israeli military actions. Amid concerns over slowed American arms shipments, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu highlighted a recent decline in supplies, while US officials defended their continued support for Israel.

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ISRAEL & PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

  1. Hamas Political Leaders Reportedly Planning to Relocate from Qatar to Iraq

Hamas is reportedly planning to move its political leadership from Qatar to Iraq due to increased pressure from Doha and the United States. This move, approved by the Iraqi government and supported by Iran, aims to enhance flexibility in Gaza ceasefire talks. Discussions were held between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Iraqi and Iranian officials, with further confirmation from an Iraqi MP. Hamas has already opened a political office in Baghdad and plans to establish a media office soon, despite the concerns of some Iraqi political factions.

  1. Netanyahu Vows to Thwart Iran’s Plans to Destroy Israel “At Any Cost”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Monday to counter Iran’s attempts to destroy Israel “at any cost.” He highlighted Iran’s support for proxy groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, describing the situation as an “existential war on seven fronts.” Netanyahu emphasized Israel’s determination to protect itself and revealed that IDF operations in Gaza have uncovered more evidence of Iran’s anti-Israel activities. His comments follow a warning from the top US general about the risks of a broader conflict if Israel launches an offensive in Lebanon, potentially drawing in Iran and its proxies.

  1. IDF Chief Reports Significant Progress in Destroying Hamas Rafah Brigade

IDF Chief of Staff Major General Hartzi Halevi announced major achievements in the operation against Hamas’s Rafah Brigade. During a situation assessment with senior commanders, Halevi praised the destruction of infrastructure, the extensive mapping and destruction of tunnels, and the high number of terrorists killed. He noted the strategic importance of controlling the Philadelphia axis to prevent future smuggling. Halevi emphasized the nearing dismantlement of the Rafah Brigade, which is losing its functionality as a fighting unit due to significant casualties. He commended the professionalism and dedication of the troops, urging them to continue their mission.

  1. Lapid and Netanyahu Trade Barbs Over Submarine Affair and War Efforts

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid clashed on the Knesset floor during a special session. Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to returning all hostages, eliminating Hamas, and thwarting Iran’s threats. He criticized those undermining the IDF’s morale. Lapid countered by condemning Netanyahu for his failure on October 7, mishandling the Iranian nuclear threat, and neglecting economic issues. The exchange followed the State Commission of Inquiry issuing warning letters to five individuals, including Netanyahu, over the Submarine Affair, accusing them of harming Israel’s national security.

  1. Inquiry Warns Netanyahu May Have Endangered Israel’s Security in Submarine Deal

A state commission investigating the procurement of submarines and missile boats from Germany has warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and four other senior officials. The evidence suggests Netanyahu may have violated his duties by allowing Germany to sell submarines to Egypt and concealing these dealings from the cabinet. Warning letters were also issued to former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, ex-National Security Council Director Yossi Cohen, former Navy Commander Ram Rothberg, and National Security Council employee Avner Simchoni. The inquiry raises serious concerns about potential security risks to Israel.

  1. Barak: Ending War Only Way to Secure Return of Israeli Detainees

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak asserts that ending the war is the only way to secure the return of Israeli detainees from Gaza. His remarks contradict a senior Israeli official’s claim that military pressure is the sole option. Barak criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him a “failure” and urging his removal. Amidst this, families of detainees and thousands of demonstrators in Israel are pressuring the government for a prisoner exchange deal. Protests, the largest since last October, also demand early elections to unseat Netanyahu’s government, highlighting the intense public dissatisfaction.

  1. US Condemns Video of Palestinian Detainee Tied to IDF Vehicle

The US condemned a video showing a Palestinian tied to the hood of an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) vehicle in the West Bank, calling the practice “absolutely unacceptable.” The State Department urged swift accountability. The IDF acknowledged the incident, stating it was under investigation. The episode occurred during an operation near Jenin. Additionally, the US criticized Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s efforts to expand Israeli civilian control in the West Bank, deeming such actions counterproductive to peace and harmful to Israel’s security.

  1. Hamas Rearms from Unexploded Israeli Ordnance in Gaza

Hamas is rearming itself using unexploded Israeli ordnance in Gaza, according to Israeli media. Israel’s Army Radio reports that Hamas is restoring its ammunition production workshops using materials from unexploded bombs, estimated to be 2,000 to 3,000 in the enclave. This rearmament effort occurs amid failed ceasefire talks mediated by the US, Qatar, and Egypt.

  1. Rocket Sirens Sound in Ashkelon as IDF Eliminates Key Hamas Terrorist

Rocket alert sirens have sounded in Ashkelon and the Israel-Gaza border area. The IDF announced the elimination of a key terrorist involved in Hamas’s weapons development and production. Concurrently, Israeli forces launched overnight airstrikes targeting Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon. The strikes hit several key locations, including a military structure in the Itatron region and operational infrastructures in Kfar Kila and Al-Khyam.

  1. October 7 Victims Sue UNRWA for $1 Billion, Alleging Support for Hamas

Over 100 victims of the October 7 Hamas assault on Israel and their families have filed a $1 billion lawsuit against UNRWA, accusing it of aiding Hamas. The lawsuit, filed in New York, alleges that UNRWA allowed Hamas to use its facilities for weapon storage and paid employees in US dollars, indirectly funding the terror group. Plaintiffs assert that UNRWA’s actions contributed to the atrocities committed by Hamas. UNRWA has not commented on the lawsuit, which seeks compensation for the victims’ injuries and losses.

  1. Hostage families release Hamas video showing 3 sons’ abduction into Gaza under fire

Families of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, Eliya Cohen, and Or Levy released a harrowing video showing their October 7 abduction by Hamas. The footage, shared by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, depicts the men bloodied and crammed onto a pickup truck’s flatbed, driven into Gaza. The video, part of evidence accusing the government of abandoning the hostages, highlights the brutality faced by captives. Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to securing the release of all 120 hostages. The forum emphasized the urgency of a hostage deal to save lives and ensure proper burials.

  1. WHO Official Says US-Built Pier in Gaza Insufficient for Aid Delivery

The US-built pier off Gaza’s coast is inadequate for delivering the necessary aid to Palestinians, says Dr. Hanan Balkhy of the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region. Despite the US military’s efforts to resume deliveries via the floating pier, Dr. Balkhy emphasized the need for more effective land routes. Since Israel’s ground operation in Rafah, aid delivery has dropped by 67%, with over 50 WHO trucks stuck in Egypt and only three trucks allowed through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Israel claims it allows aid through, but the UN cites dangerous conditions as the reason for delays.

  1. EU Warns of “Tipping Point” in Gaza Aid Crisis, Conflict Risk in Lebanon

The European Union has declared the humanitarian crisis in Gaza to have reached a “tipping point,” with aid delivery becoming “almost impossible.” EU officials emphasized that basic civil structures in Gaza are collapsing as civilians struggle for limited aid. Humanitarian aid is piling up at Egypt and Jordan borders, with much of it perishable. The EU calls for an immediate ceasefire, unconditional hostage release, and safe aid delivery. Concerns are growing about the conflict potentially expanding to Lebanon, with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock highlighting the risks of escalation.

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YEMEN

  1. Houthis Open Roads in Yemen for Espionage Purposes, Officials Say

The Houthi militia’s decision to reopen main roads between Al Bayda and Ma’rib, closed for nine years, has raised concerns about espionage motives. Despite repeated refusals to open these roads for humanitarian reasons, the Houthis reportedly now seek to exploit them for espionage, according to Yemeni officials. They plan to gather intelligence from citizens and infiltrate spies into liberated areas. Officials stress the importance of vigilance against these tactics, highlighting the Houthis’ history of exploiting situations for military and economic gains, and warn against the potential threats posed by these actions.

  1. A Painful Blow to Al-Qaeda in Yemen: Senior Leader Killed by Drone

Security sources report that senior Al-Qaeda leader Al-Baydani was killed in a drone strike in Ma’rib Governorate on Sunday night while riding a motorcycle. Al-Baydani was targeted for his involvement in attacks against security personnel in Abyan Governorate. Known for his significant role in orchestrating multiple attacks, his death marks a substantial blow to the organization. This operation is part of ongoing airstrikes targeting Al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen, aimed at combating terrorism and enhancing security. Security sources emphasize the continuation of operations against terrorist elements to further weaken their capacity for attacks.

  1. Houthis Involve Yemen in US-China Competition

Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have drawn Yemen into the international competition between the US and China. The US State Department condemned these attacks on commercial ships, which disrupt navigation in a vital waterway. Sanctions have been imposed on key parties, including those in China, for enabling the Houthis to generate revenue and acquire advanced weapon materials. These weapons are used against US and allied interests. The US has sanctioned three individuals and six entities, prohibiting a ship owned by one entity.

  1. UN Warns of Yemen Conflict’s Economic Impact on Yemeni Population

A UN report warns of severe impacts on Yemen’s economy and living conditions due to the ongoing economic war between the Houthis and the Yemeni government. The conflict risks reigniting fighting, particularly affecting families dependent on remittances, which support 27% of the population. Efforts to resolve the currency dispute and attacks on oil facilities have stalled. The FAO highlights a dangerous banking and financial crisis, exacerbating food insecurity and economic instability. Sanctions on the Houthis have disrupted international transactions, further complicating the humanitarian situation and potentially leading to renewed hostilities and economic decline.

  1. Suspected Houthi Attack Targets Ship Beyond Previous Range

A suspected Houthi attack on a ship occurred approximately 450 kilometers southeast of Nishtun in the Gulf of Aden, marking the farthest-reaching attack by the group to date. This escalation comes as the US aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower returns home after an eight-month deployment responding to Houthi attacks. The Houthi campaign has significantly disrupted shipping routes vital to Asian, Middle Eastern, and European markets. The area of the attack is controlled by Yemeni government forces, which have been in conflict with the Houthis since 2014.

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IRAN

  1. Iranian Presidential Election Plagued by Public Skepticism

As Iran’s presidential election approaches, a significant portion of the electorate expresses deep skepticism and disillusionment. A Gamaan poll indicates only 22% plan to vote, with 65% abstaining. This reflects widespread recognition that elections under the Islamic Republic are neither free nor fair. The Guardian Council’s stringent candidate vetting ensures only regime loyalists run, excluding dissidents, women, and non-Shi’a men. Voter turnout has steadily declined, with the 2021 election seeing a record low of 48.8%. Many Iranians view elections as futile, demanding systemic change rather than perpetuating authoritarian rule.

  1. Iran Vows to Use All Power to Stop Israeli Crimes in Gaza, Says Acting FM Bagheri Kani

Acting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani reaffirmed Iran’s unwavering support for Palestine, vowing to use all means to end Israeli crimes in Gaza. Speaking at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue Forum in Tehran, Bagheri Kani condemned the ongoing atrocities and highlighted Iran’s efforts to achieve a ceasefire and deliver humanitarian aid. He praised the resilience of Gaza’s people and emphasized that justice will eventually prevail. Bagheri Kani also reiterated that Palestine is an integral part of the Islamic world and called for collective action to support the Palestinian cause.

  1. Sanctions Cost Iran $1.2 Trillion Over 12 Years, Iranian Businessman Says

Former head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Hossein Selahvarzi, revealed that sanctions have cost Iran approximately $1.2 trillion from 2011 to 2023. This translates to an annual per capita loss of $1,202. Selahvarzi highlighted the economic opportunities missed due to sanctions, which have severely affected oil revenues, non-oil exports, inflation, and unemployment. Despite ongoing nuclear negotiations, no agreement has been reached to revive the JCPOA. As Iran’s presidential election approaches, candidates have not proposed clear plans to resolve foreign policy issues, including relations with the US, which are critical for lifting sanctions and improving Iran’s economic situation.

  1. Iran Says it Surpasses Qatar in Gas Extraction from Joint Offshore Field

Iran has outperformed Qatar in gas extraction from their shared offshore field in the Arabian Gulf, according to Iranian Oil Minister Javad Auchi. At a press conference, Auchi announced that Iran now extracts between 75 and 100 million cubic meters of gas more than Qatar from the field. Iran has also seen a 5% growth in gas production, leading the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in production increases. The shared field, known as South Pars in Iran and North Dome in Qatar, is the world’s largest natural gas reserve. Iran has invested $20 billion in contracts to enhance extraction from the South Pars field.

  1. Iran Inaugurates 17 Major Oil, Refining, and Petrochemical Projects

Iran has inaugurated 17 significant oil, refining, and petrochemical projects across seven provinces with an investment of over 180 trillion rials. These projects include crude oil storage tanks, a gas pressure boosting station, and various pipelines. Key initiatives include increasing crude oil production by 10,000 barrels per day, collecting 4 million cubic meters of flare gas, and expanding storage and production capacities. Oil Minister Javad Owji announced that Iran’s oil production has reached 3.6 million barrels per day, with major energy projects worth $34 billion commissioned during the late President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration.

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SYRIA

  1. France to Decide on Arrest Warrant for Syrian President Over Chemical Attacks

The Paris Court of Appeal will decide whether to uphold or cancel a French arrest warrant for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, accused of complicity in crimes against humanity related to chemical attacks in 2013. This follows a request from France’s National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor to cancel the warrant due to the personal immunity of heads of state. The case, driven by investigations into chemical attacks in Damascus suburbs, could set a precedent for lifting state leader immunity in international justice. The decision will arrive during ongoing legal debates on the immunity of sitting heads of state.

  1. Tahrir al-Sham Cracks Down on Idlib Demonstrations

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham’s General Security Service is intensifying arrests of activists in Idlib, Syria, to suppress protests demanding the removal of leader Abu Muhammad al-Julani, the dissolution of the Shura Council, and the release of prisoners of conscience. Recent arrests include Abdullah Malandi, Imad al-Dalati, and Tariq Al-Khalaf. Demonstrators report brutal treatment by security forces. The Revolutionary Movement Gathering condemns these actions, emphasizing their resolve against HTS. Meanwhile, SDF forces, supported by coalition troops, conducted raids in Deir ez-Zor targeting ISIS affiliates.

  1. Syrian Regime Floods Local Market with Captagon Despite International Pressure

Faced with international and Arab pressure to curb drug smuggling, the Syrian regime’s Captagon network, led by the Fourth Division, is flooding the local market with millions of pills. The network, involving military and security officials, has expanded operations in Damascus and its countryside. The Fourth Division granted exclusive control to MP Amer Khaiti to oversee production and distribution. Despite international sanctions, the regime denies involvement, attributing accusations to political blackmail. This surge in local drug availability exacerbates the humanitarian crisis, worsening poverty and violence in affected areas.

  1. Russian and Syrian Forces Struggle Against ISIS in Syrian Desert

For 20 days, Russian-backed Syrian regime forces have failed to stop ISIS attacks in the Syrian desert, resulting in 46 regime and militia deaths. Despite air support and ground operations in Homs, Deir ez-Zor, and Raqqa, ISIS continues its offensive with 15 attacks. The campaign, involving the 11th, 18th, and 25th Divisions and the Al-Quds Brigade, has yet to neutralize any ISIS members. On Sunday, ISIS militants ambushed a government convoy near Palmyra, east of Homs, seizing vehicles loaded with weapons, ammunition, and logistical materials. According to a military source, the clash forced government forces to flee, leaving behind two trucks. The convoy, originating from the 26th Air Defense Division headquarters in Palmyra and en route to the T4 military airport, was overtaken by ISIS, who transported the captured materials deep into the desert.

  1. Israeli Bombing Targets Southwestern Syria Countryside

On Monday, an explosion rocked the Quneitra countryside in southwestern Syria, reportedly due to Israeli bombing. Local media, including Sham FM radio, confirmed that Israeli artillery shelling caused material damage in the municipality of Al-Hamidiyah near Al-Baath city. Social media sources suggested that the bombing targeted a site associated with an Iranian faction in the region.

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IRAQ

  1. Baghdad Braces for Israeli Response to Iraqi Faction Threats

Baghdad is preparing for potential Israeli retaliation if Iraqi armed factions follow through on their threats to support Hezbollah against Israel. The Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades announced their readiness to join any conflict involving Hezbollah and Israel, aligning with the broader axis that includes Iraq. Amid this, Yemeni sources reported Houthi coordination with Iraqi militias to alleviate pressure on Hezbollah, suggesting an Iranian strategy to distance Tehran from direct conflict with Washington and Tel Aviv. This coordination reportedly included a joint operation targeting the Israeli port of Haifa.

  1. Over 30 Iraqi Companies to Attend Investment Summit in the US

US Ambassador to Baghdad, Alina Romanowski, announced that more than 30 Iraqi companies will participate in the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C. next week. In a blog post on the “X-Twitter” platform, Romanowski extended her best wishes to the 33 Iraqi companies attending the summit. She highlighted that the event aims to connect Iraqi companies with American firms and resources to foster business growth and investment opportunities.

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 THE GULF

  1. Saudi Arabia Commissions Siemens to Develop Two Power Plants for $1.5 Billion

Siemens has been awarded a $1.5 billion contract by Saudi Arabia to develop two power generation plants, Taiba 2 and Qassim 2, over 25 years. These plants, among the largest and most efficient combined cycle power plants globally, will connect to the grid in a simple cycle in 2026 and operate in a combined cycle by 2027. The Saudi Electricity Company and ACWA Power alliance will develop these projects, along with Taiba 1 and Qassim 1 stations, totaling 3.6 gigawatts. The overall project value is expected to reach approximately 14.6 billion riyals.

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 EGYPT

  1. New Houthi Attack in the Red Sea Intensifies Suez Canal Crisis

Security tensions in the Red Sea have exacerbated the crisis in the Egyptian Suez Canal, already facing declining revenues. The US Army accused the Houthis of targeting a Greek ship heading to Egypt, marking the fourth such attack on a Liberian-flagged vessel. Houthi forces claimed responsibility for two recent attacks, citing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. This ongoing threat has significantly impacted shipping traffic and revenues in the Suez Canal. Experts predict further declines in revenue and increased maritime transport costs. Solutions appear tied to resolving the political crisis in Gaza.

  1. Egypt and EU to Sign €1 Billion Agreement for Economic Support

Egypt and the European Union will sign a €1 billion agreement to support Egypt’s macroeconomy, as part of a larger €7.4 billion package announced at the Egyptian-European summit in March. The first tranche, available in the second half of this year, is part of a €5 billion mechanism for macroeconomic and budget support, with further tranches planned from 2025-2027. Minister Rania Al-Mashat highlighted efforts to secure approximately $2 billion in soft financing, including contributions from the World Bank, African Development Bank, and Korean Economic Cooperation and Development Fund, to support structural reforms and private sector growth.

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 TURKIYE

  1. NATO Must Stop Supporting PKK, Says Turkish Spokesman Çelik

NATO must adhere to its foundational principles, stated Ömer Çelik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AK Party. Çelik criticized some NATO allies for supporting terrorist organizations like the PKK, which violates NATO’s principles. He highlighted inconsistencies in allies’ actions, especially regarding the Russia-Ukraine war and far-right terrorism. Çelik emphasized Turkey’s opposition to the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, YPG, and condemned Western support for these groups. He warned that Turkey would intervene to prevent the establishment of a terrorist state on its border, a threat to Syria’s territorial integrity, and reiterated Turkey’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts in northern Syria.

  1. Greek Orthodox Patriarchate’s Role at Ukrainian Peace Summit Angers Türkiye

The participation of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate as a “state” in the Ukrainian peace summit in Switzerland has sparked tensions with Türkiye. Dr. Issam Abdel Shafi’s report highlights Ankara’s frustration with the Patriarchate signing the summit’s final statement. Turkey, which does not recognize the Patriarchate’s ecumenical status, criticized the move as inconsistent with the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, which limits the Patriarchate’s role to religious services. This incident exacerbates the historical conflict between Greece and Turkey, undermining recent efforts to improve bilateral relations amid the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.

  1. Turkish Influence in Iranian Presidential Elections May Lead to Unforeseen Outcomes

In the wake of Iranian President Ibrahim Reisi’s death, the upcoming presidential election on June 28 sees significant developments. Iranian Turk candidate Massoud Pezeshkian, leading in polls, may attract the disaffected Iranian Turk population and mend ties with the state. The Council of Guardians of the Constitution approved six candidates, including Pezeshkian from the Reformist Front. With five conservative candidates, the election could hinge on voter turnout and internal political maneuvers. Pezeshkian’s strategy to appeal to both moderates and reformists adds complexity to the race, which parallels the 2013 three-way competition.

  1. Turkey Signs Critical Energy Agreement with China’s SHPGX

Turkey’s Energy Markets Management Inc. (EPİAŞ) has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX), which boasts an annual turnover of $200 billion. The agreement, announced by EPİAŞ General Manager Taha Meli Arvas, aims to enhance cooperation between the two energy exchanges, fostering energy trade between China and Turkey. This move aligns with Turkey’s ambition to become a central hub for energy trade. The partnership will enable EPİAŞ and SHPGX market participants to trade on each other’s platforms, marking a significant step forward in international energy collaboration.

  1. Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan Protests US, UK, and French Support for YPG

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan expressed Turkey’s firm stance against the YPG and highlighted issues with the US, UK, and France regarding their support for the group. He emphasized Turkey’s persistent diplomatic efforts to address this concern, which contradicts alliance principles. Fidan reaffirmed Turkey’s commitment to combating terrorism in Syria and Iraq and stressed ongoing negotiations with BRICS member countries for potential participation. He noted BRICS’s inclusivity and potential benefits, indicating Turkey’s intent to maintain strong relations with these nations.

  1. Turkey Detains Over 30 ISIS Suspects

Turkish authorities have detained 31 individuals suspected of ISIS ties in a series of raids across six provinces, including Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya. The operation, named “Pigeon Hawk-46,” follows intensified efforts against ISIS after the group’s attack on Istanbul’s Santa Maria Catholic Church in January. This crackdown has resulted in nearly 1,000 detentions. Despite ISIS’s territorial losses, its Khorasan branch (ISIS-K) remains active, claiming responsibility for attacks in Moscow and Istanbul. Recently, coordinated assaults on religious sites in Dagestan killed 19 people, with Russian authorities attributing these to an international terrorist organization.

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📌 In case you missed it,

📰  THE EARLY PHOENIX June 24, 2024

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