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Old 04-06-2016   #81
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Default MFO on the move

Via FP's e-briefing:
Quote:
There are about 700 U.S. troops currently serving as observers in the northern part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as part of a decades-old peace pact between Egypt and Israel. But they may soon pull out of that base and move to another outpost further south. The move would come as a result of growing American concerns over the dangers presented by the Islamic State on the peninsula, though U.S. officials stress no final decision has been made.
Based on this report:http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/05/politics/us-sinai-deployment-egypt-israel/?

A couple of weeks ago the UK announced a temporary deployment of engineers to help the MFO at a new base. That 'special relationship' again.
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Old 04-09-2016   #82
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Default Two strategic islands change hands soon

Alerted via Twitter to a significant change IMHO; two strategic islands in the Straits of Tiran, subject of a territorial dispute between Egypt and Saudi Arabia are to become Saudi territory. The straits enable Israeli access to the Red Sea and their closure in 1967 contributed to the 'Six Day War'. As part of the Camp David Agreement the US MFO have an outpost there. See:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiran_Island

Twitter citing two Egyptian tweets:
Quote:
Egyptian cabinet just confirmed giving Saudi Arabia the islands Tiran and Sanafir...After whichEgyptian Twitter, FB exploded. Trending hashtags accuse Sisi of selling territory for Gulf money.
An Israeli news site indicates this change is not a big surprise, but wonders what the implications are:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...789308,00.html

Curiously a BBC report treats this as a commercial matter strengthening ties and a bridge that will link the two nations:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35999557

One wonders how Israel will react. Presumably they were aware of the possibility as the two regimes have got closer. Working out the details will be interesting: the MFO outpost is now on Saudi territory; freedom of navigation; the bridge and far more.
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Old 04-13-2016   #83
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Default We agree: two strange partners

WaPo reports on the all too-often secret relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia. It starts with:
Quote:
The announcement that Egypt transferred two small Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabian sovereignty ..in Israel it quietly shed light on the Jewish state’s secret and selective dealings with Saudi Arabia.
Citing Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon:
Quote:
We reached an agreement between the four parties – the Saudis, the Egyptians, Israel and the United States – to transfer the responsibility for the islands on the condition the Saudis fill in the Egyptian shoes in the military appendix of the peace agreement,
Link:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-saudi-arabia/
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-17-2017 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Two posts in stand alone thread with 8.9k views until merging today.
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Old 04-30-2016   #84
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Default Picking friends

Dr Omar Ashour's latest article on the insurgency in Sinai includes the MFO and this "Oh sh*t" incident:
Quote:
Earlier this month, two artillery shells landed in the gym of the MFO’s North Camp near El-Gora village at around 3am. Another mortar shell landed a few days later, destroyed a vehicle and injured a soldier. The US was able to work out the coordinates of the source of the shelling and it turned out to be the positions of the regular army. Apparently, it was "friendly fire" or a mistake.
Link:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...074317507.html
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Old 01-17-2017   #85
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Default Moderator at work

After a quick review I have merged several threads to create a catch all thread for historical matters Egypt / Egyptian up till the end of 2016. One of the threads was for Sinai. This thread had 85 posts an 52.9k views. There will be new thread for 2017 onwards.

It maybe useful to view previous threads of value are:

1) Arab armies and the 'Arab Spring' http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=17859

2) Arab Spring Phase 3? http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=17692

3) Egypt's Spring Revolution (now closed) http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=12371

4) The transformation of the Arab World (which looks at the wider impact and the impact on AQ) http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=16634
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Old 04-04-2017   #86
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Default The changing security dynamic in the Red Sea

This Open Democracy article will be copied to the historical Egypt thread that contains a few posts on the two islands being transferred from Egypt occupation back to Saudi Arabia. That thread is:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...t=18454&page=5

It is raises some interesting points, notably the KSA-Israeli relationship. I had missed this news, with my emphasis:
Quote:
As such, the expected transfer of the islands is revealing a number of regional dynamics. The most vivid example of which is the new perceived strategic role of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is expanding its role in the horn of Africa, especially with the recent conclusion of a deal with Djibouti to build a military base on its territory. The strategic location of the base, across the Yemeni shore, gives Saudi Arabia the ability to project its power over the Bab El Mandab strait. This serves to consolidate the position of Saudi Arabia as the reigning power over the Red Sea.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-a...ic-of-red-sea?
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