DEBKAfile Special Report August 27, 2015
Egypt is in advanced negotiations with France for two highly advanced French Mistral class assault-cum-helicopter carrier ships originally destined for the Russian Navy. debkafile reports that this deal, if it goes through, will substantially beef up the regional lineup of the Saudi, Egyptian and Israeli navies. The new vessels would enable it to contest Iranian naval challenges in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and alter the balance of strength between the opposing sides. Saudis and the UAE are covering the bill.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 7, 2015
Monday, July 6, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott unveiled Israel’s answer to the rising ISIS threat nearing its gates: the new Commando Brigade. An amalgam of four elite units, it is designed for quiet, bold, covert and effective action against terrorist groups posing a threat in the Sinai Desert to Egyptian sovereignty and Israel’s southern border. Such action would be coordinated closely between Israeli and Egyptian military and intelligence arms. There would be similar operations if necessary from Israel’s northern border – against Hizballah or any threat from Syria.
After terrorists claim 13 lives in Sinai, El-Sisi reshuffles top army, navy, intelligence and Suez Canal chiefs
DEBKAfile Special Report April 13, 2015
President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi was spurred Sunday, April 12, to make a clean sweep of his top counter-terror commanders by two more deadly attacks in northern Sinai by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the lslamic State’s local branch. They claimed 13 deaths, seven of them Egyptian troops, including two officers, and injured more than 50. To stem the attacks and smuggling of arms and fighters, the military intelligence chief was sacked, the Navy commander replaced, the Sinai force given a new top officer and the Suez Canal Administration strengthened.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 30, 2015
The US-led world powers and Iran Monday, March 30, entered the last tense hours for a nuclear deal as though Lausanne was on a different planet from the Middle East, where the Yemen war, in which Iran is deeply involved, abruptly scooped up a power outside the region - Pakistan, whose defense minister arrives in Riyadh Tuesday, following Islamabad's pledge to support its Saudi ally. debkafile: Several Pakistan brigades are being airlifted to relieve Saudi forces of border and oil security tasks for major ground operations. Egyptian air and warships blast Aden,
DEBKAfile Special Report March 28, 2015
Iran’s top war commander, Al Qods Brigades chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, landed in Sanaa Friday, March 27, debkafile reports, to organize a counter-offensive for the Saudi-Gulf-Egyptian operations against Tehran-backed Houthi rebel advances. By opening its third direct Middle East warfront after Syria and Iraq, Tehran was holding the Obama administration to its promise of support as the leading Middle East power, in return for signing a nuclear framework deal by March 31. Solemeini’s must urgently restore Iran’s sea and air supply lines to Yemen, cut off by Saudi-led air strikes.
Egypt seizes Bab el Mandeb ahead of Iran. Saudis bomb Iran-backed Yemeni Houthis. US launches air strikes over Tikrit
DEBKAfile Special Report March 26, 2015
In a surprise step, Egyptian forces Thursday morning, March 26, seized control of the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Straits to pre-empt Tehran’s grab for this important energy shipping gateway between the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal, debkafile reports. It rounded off the just-launched Saudi-led air strikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, signaling a 10-nation Sunni Arab revolt against Iran’s approaching takeover of Yemen and other Mid East positions with Washington’s support, and coinciding with the first US air strikes over Tikrit in aid of Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 28, 2015
Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi has massed his troops for all-out war on ISIS strongholds in Libya, the first Arab ruler to challenge Islamist terrorists in a fellow Arab country, debkafile reports. His initiative dramatizes the spillover of the Islamist State’s threat across the Middle East, and the ineffectiveness of the US-led anti-terror coalition’s efforts in Iraq and Syria. Egyptian commando and marine forces stand ready for imminent sea landings to seize Darnah and wipe out the Islamist militias, coupled with an air and ground campaign against their hideouts in Sinai.
Egypt bombs ISIS targets in Libya after video of 21 Copts beheaded. Ten Egyptians earlier killed in Sinai
DEBKAfile Special Report February 16, 2015
Egyptian air strikes bombed Islamic State targets in Libya at dawn Mon. Feb. 16, hours after a video was released showing the mass beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians. The targets were officially described as “Islamic State camps, training sites and weapons storage areas.” Six days earlier, an ISIS-affiliated Sinai group aired a video depicting the beheadings of 10 alleged collaborators with Israeli and Egyptian intelligence – altogether 31 savage murders of Egyptians in less than a week. debkafile: ISIS-Libya has developed a bridge all the way to Iraqi via Sinai affiliates.
King Abdullah calls up Saudi armed forces on high preparedness. Egyptian troops ready to fly to kingdom
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 26, 2014
Thursday, June 26, the day before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due in Riyadh, King Abdullah summoned a National Security Council meeting “upon the current security events in the region, especially in Iraq,” and ordered “all necessary measures to protect the kingdom against terrorist threats.” The Saudi military has been mobilized and placed on high preparedness, after royal reconnaissance flights discovered Iraqi Al Qaeda-linked Sunni fighters (ISIS) heading for the Saudi border to seize the Ar Ar crossing. debkafile: Egyptian commandos are about to fly out to bolster Saudi border defenses.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 29, 2013
Lt. Gen. Vyacheslav Kondrashov, Russian Deputy chief of staff and deputy GRU military intelligence director, spent his first day in Cairo, Tuesday, Oct. 29, with Egyptian military chiefs going through the list of Russian hardware they want to buy in their first major arms transaction in decades. They included advanced weapons withheld by the United States and topped the list with medium-range ICBMs able to reach Iran and most of the Middle East. debkafile: Cairo seems to be after the new 2000-mile range Russian SS-25 ground-to-ground missile.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 5, 2013
Four people were killed and dozens injured Friday and Saturday when pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with opponents and security forces in Cairo, Alexandria, Assiut and other Egyptian towns. This was a foretaste of the “Great Counter-Coup” the Brotherhood plans to launch on Oct. 6, the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war on Israel. Millions of Egyptians across the country received orders through the MB's underground channels to take to the streets for Stage One. During the week, gunmen attacked two military targets killing five Egyptian soldiers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 1, 2013
Egypt Monday, Sept. 30, launched a major offensive to confront Al Qaeda and its Salafist allies for the first time in their lofty strongholds in the rugged central Sinai range of Jabal al-Halal, debkafile reports. Egypt’s military ruler Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered a systematic campaign by elite forces to flush Al Qaeda and allied Salafists out of the “Torah Borah” of Sinai, after two terrorist attacks on Suez Canal shipping. There were also concerns that Al Qaeda would copy-cat the Nairobi shopping mall attack against an Egyptian town or Israel location.
Dozens of armed Salafist, Palestinian casualties in Egyptian copter strike in support of Gaza blockade
DEBKAfile Special Report September 3, 2013
Egyptian Air Force helicopter gun-ships surprised Salafist and Palestinian terrorists Tuesday, Sept. 3, with 13 rockets fired into two gatherings at Al-Muataa and Touma, south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid near the northern Sinai border with the Gaza Strip. Egyptian security officials reported “dozens" killed and wounded. debkafile: Egyptian forces are carving out two security zones for blocking the transit of Hamas and Jihad Islami gunmen between Sinai and the Gaza Strip. The Apaches struck the Salafists and Palestinians rioting against this operation.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 15, 2013
What's next for Egypt? debkafile: Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi will follow a prepared plan for eradicating the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force – first by outlawing the movement, then a new presidential election, for which he will stand. The Brotherhood plans to go underground and fight the military to the finish through allied terrorist networks. President Obama opts for non-intervention. Neither the US nor Europe hold strong levers of influence since Saudi Arabia and Emirates have pledged $40 billion to bolster the military caste versus the Brothers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 31, 2013
Israel has twice switched its orientation toward the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip: In November 2012, Muslim Brotherhood-ruled Egypt, Qatar and Turkey, negotiated the ceasefire ending Israel’s Pillar of Defense operation against Hamas missiles. From July 2013, Israel has been cooperating with the Egyptian military and its champion, Saudi Arabia – witness permission for Egyptian Apache gun ships to fly over Gaza. So what happens when the Egyptian military launches a major operation against Hamas – in defiance of the US and Palestinian Authority, with whom Israel launched peace talks this week?
Egypt set for Fattah 2 offensive on Sinai Islamist terror. Gaza sealed. US and Israeli forces on alert
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 19, 2013
An Egyptian military offensive, dubbed Fattah 2 (Conquest 2), begins Friday, July 19 against a coalition of Salafists and Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Jihad Islami groups terrorizing Sinai. Egypt’s Second Army and Third Army chiefs lead the campaign from command centers in El Arish and central Sinai. The Gaza Strip exits are sealed. Israeli forces along the Egyptian and Gaza borders are on alert, so too are the 2,600 Marines aboard two US amphibious helicopter carriers off the Red Sea shores of Southern Sinai and the Gulf of Suez.
Army deposes Morsi. In TV statement, army chief names judge provisional president. Tahrir Sq. jubilant
DEBKAfile Special Report July 3, 2013
In his tensely awaited televised statement, Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Khalil Al-Sisi said Wednesday night, July 3, that the head of the constitutional court will act as provisional president and form an interim government of technocrats to run the country until early presidential and parliamentary elections. He was flanked by Christian, opposition and Muslim leaders. On hearing that the army had deposed Mohamed Morsi, Tahrir Square exploded in a frenzy of jubilation. Thus far Egypt’s military coup has been bloodless.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 6, 2012
The initial Egyptian and Israeli accounts of the attacks in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed and the Israeli border crashed Sunday night, Aug. 5, don’t match up: Egypt points the finger at the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip; Israel at Sinai salafists. debkafile postulates a third option: Tehran may have harnessed its Gaza Strip proxies and a Sinai al Qaeda cell for coordinated attacks on Egyptian and Israeli military targets to avenge Al Qaeda’s enlistment to the Western-Arab-backed revolt against Bashar Assad.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 5, 2012
The Israeli Air Force struck two APCs seized by Sinai Salafis who first stormed an Egyptian post on the Egyptian-Israeli border Sunday night, Aug. 5, killing at least 15 Egyptian commandos, injuring many and kidnapping an unknown number. The gunmen then smashed the APCs through to the Kerem Shalom terminal. The one which got across was destroyed by the IAF. debkafile: This appears to be the first Sinai-based Islamist reprisal against Egyptian troops for an Israeli counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 8, 2012
Washington and Jerusalem were dismayed to discover last week that Egypt's transitional military rulers (SCAF) were preparing to drop the reins of government and hand them over - lock, stock and barrel, including the armed forces - to civilian rule, i.e., the Muslim Brotherhood, at the earliest opportunity. By staying mute while this process ripened, Israel emboldened Muslim Brotherhood leaders to reiterate that they were not bound by any pledges to Washington to uphold the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.