DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 15, 2011, 7:12 PM (GMT+02:00)
Monday, Aug. 15, three Egyptian army brigades of 1,700 men backed by tanks, an equal number of special policemen and 3,400 security personnel drove into the northern Sinai towns of El Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah thereby launching a mission to retake Sinai from rampant Islamists, who were also responsible for sabotaging a gas pipeline. debkafile: In their first clash with Islamic Liberation Army gunmen, three Egyptian officers were kidnapped, one gunman was killed and 11 detained.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 30, 2011, 5:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
The day after their El Arish rampage, Al Qaeda gunmen Saturday, July 30, blasted the al Shulaq terminal of the Egyptian-Israeli gas pipeline north of the Sinai town, halting supply for the fifth time since February. This time was different. The saboteurs fired rockets at the terminal until it caught fire, the same tactics they used to raid El Arish Friday. Egyptian forces confronted the assailants but could not save the terminal. This was al Qaeda's first attack on a strategic Israeli installation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 13, 2011, 12:03 PM (GMT+02:00)
After Hama, US and French ambassadors to Damascus Robert Ford and Eric Chevalier will Friday, July 15, try to reach the eastern Syrian oil town of Deir al-Zar on the Iraqi border to meet opposition leaders, although debkafile's reports government forces are poised to stop them. The town is also a Sunni tribal and Kurdish center.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 18, 2011, 2:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
Without serious aforethought, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak waved through another 3,000 Egyptian troops into North Sinai, raising their number to 4,000 and virtually scrapping the key demilitarization clause of the 1979 peace treaty. No conditions were laid down and no timeline or operational limits set, debkafile's sources report. Israel asked the military rulers in Cairo – directly and through Washington - to deny Iranian warships passage through the Suez Canal – but was ignored.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 5, 2011, 6:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
Egypt's suspension of gas supplies to Israel after the North Sinai pipeline was blown up Saturday, Feb 5 has suddenly cut Israel off from 25-30 percent of its gas needs and 80 percent of Jordan's. After the blast, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq announced that gas supplied to both countries under contract would henceforth be diverted to domestic requirements. Israel is also deeply concerned by spreading Hamas occupation of North Sinai and on high alert for more sabotage of its power installations.