By Ali Abdelaty CAIRO (Reuters) - Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in for a second term as Egyptian president on Saturday amid a crackdown on his opponents, after a landslide victory in a March election in which all serious opponents had withdrawn. Egyptian air force fighter planes drew the Egyptian flag across the sky in red, white and black smoke, while helicopters buzzed over the former military chief's motorcade as he approached parliament early on Saturday. "I assure you that accepting the other and creating common spaces between us will be my biggest concern to achieve consensus, social peace and real political development in addition to our economic development," Sisi said in a speech after he took the oath. It was followed by a 21-gun salute in celebration, as lawmakers clapped and cheered. "I will not exclude anyone from this common space except those who chose violence, terrorism and extremist thought as a way to impose their will," Sisi added during the ceremony, broadcast … [Read more...] about Sisi sworn in for second Egyptian presidential term amid crackdown on critics
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World Iraq Iraqi Army U.S. Military Russia Iran Syria Bashar al-Assad ISIS Iraq has stepped up its involvement in the battle against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and the hunt for its elusive leader by teaming up with neighboring Syria, a move that could potentially see the U.S. working with its rivals, Russia and Iran. Iraq sent F-16s to launch a surprise attack on a suspected ISIS stronghold in eastern Syria on Thursday, an operation in which both the Moscow-backed Syrian government and U.S.-led coalition signed off. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters Tuesday that the strike killed a number of the beleaguered jihadi group's leading officials thanks to Iraqi intelligence and that such operations would not only continue but escalate. "We will continue to direct these strikes in Syria and do more than that to eliminate ISIS and what remains of it outside of Syria because of the terrorism and the crimes it has committed in Iraq. We will not … [Read more...] about Can Iraq Get U.S. To Join Russia and Iran’s War Against ISIS in Syria?
Supported by Middle East By RUKMINI CALLIMACHIAPRIL 22, 2018 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story In his first statement in 10 months, the Islamic State’s spokesman on Sunday called for violence against neighboring Arab nations, suggesting that the group’s focus was turning closer to home.The remarks were a departure from the last pronouncement issued by the spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, which aimed to incite attacks against Europe and North America. It comes as the group is retrenching in its core territory after losing all but 3 percent of the area it once held in Iraq and Syria.In a nearly hourlong audio recording, released inside the group’s chat rooms in the messaging app Telegram, the spokesman called on fighters to redirect their ire toward the leaders of Arab nations in the region, whom he described as “apostates,” a term the group uses to refer to fellow Sunnis who have strayed from its … [Read more...] about ISIS Spokesman Calls for Attacks on Arab Nations
Supported by Middle East | News Analysis By BEN HUBBARDAPRIL 14, 2018 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story BEIRUT, Lebanon — For the second time in just over a year, President Trump, in sending missiles crashing into Syrian military targets, added American firepower to one of the most complex and multisided conflicts in a generation.One immediate question was whether the strikes could actually accomplish the stated goal of diminishing Syria’s capacity to make and use chemical weapons. But the new strikes also posed the risk of drawing the United States even more deeply into a conflict in which Russia and Iran — who warned Mr. Trump not to intervene — have more invested than ever in keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power.The strikes hit Syria before dawn on Saturday, with loud explosions jolting residents of the capital, Damascus, from their beds as their walls and windows … [Read more...] about From One Strike in Syria, a World of Potential Risks
Sudarsan Raghavan, The Washington Post Published 6:38 pm, Monday, April 2, 2018 With his landslide reelection victory, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi has deepened his grip on the Arab's world most populous country and a key U.S. ally, making him arguably the country's most autocratic leader since it became a republic in 1953. His consolidation of power, marked by wide-scale repression and targeting of opponents, is widely expected to grow in his second term. His supporters are already pushing to alter presidential term limits to allow Sissi to remain in office past his new term. But his outsize economic and political ambitions are at the same time breeding resentment within the general population, the business community and, some analysts say, inside Egypt's highly influential military. "The past few months have indicated some tensions and divisions," said Michael Wahid Hanna, a Middle East expert at the Century Foundation. "But there's nothing to date that … [Read more...] about In lopsided election win, Egypt’s president Sissi tightens grip and stirs resentment
CAIRO — In Tahrir Square, where hundreds of thousands of Egyptians once rallied for democracy, a giant television screen played videos of tanks, Egyptian soldiers and speeches by President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. Election billboards of Sissi blanketed the area as his supporters waved national flags and danced to patriotic music blaring from loudspeakers mounted on trucks. To anyone watching the scene, the symbolism was clear: The revolution was dead, and authoritarianism was in control. As polls closed on Wednesday, ending Egypt’s farcical three-day-long elections, no one in the Arab world’s most populous country had any doubts about who would win. All credible challengers had been arrested, intimidated or pressured to withdraw. Even with no real competition, Sissi’s loyalists and local authorities delivered food, cash and promises of municipal services to voters in an effort to engineer a high voter turnout, according to Egyptian voters, local journalists and … [Read more...] about The ghosts of the Arab Spring haunt Egypt’s sham election
Democracy Dies in Darkness Sections Home Subscribe Username Sign In Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Subscribe Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Accessibility for screenreader WorldViews Analysis Analysis Interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data, as well as anticipating how events might unfold based on past events by Ishaan Tharoor by Ishaan Tharoor Email the author March 28 at 12:59 AM Email the author Want smart analysis of the most important news in your inbox every weekday along with other global reads, interesting ideas and opinions to know? Sign up for the Today's WorldView newsletter. Egyptians will have one last chance to head to the polls on Wednesday, the last of three days of balloting in the country's presidential election. However long it takes to … [Read more...] about Egypt’s farcical election and the long Arab winter
The Egyptian pyramids at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo are seen from above in an image taken by European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake from the International Space Station on April 19, 2016. Tim Peake/ESA/NASA/Getty World Updated | On a dusty construction site in the desert on the outskirts of Cairo, a blue glass building glints in the sunlight. The shiny new complex is home to the new Egyptian Space Agency, a reboot of an abandoned 1960s program that the country’s cash-poor government says will produce satellites to drive innovation and discover resources, which it hopes are hiding under Egypt’s vast deserts.After sweeping to power in a popular military coup almost four years ago, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is now struggling to prove he can save a sputtering economy that has led to long lines at gas stations and inflated food prices and prompted one desperate citizen to set himself on fire. The space program is el-Sissi’s latest attempt to … [Read more...] about Egypt’s Economy Is in Crisis. So Why Is the Government Spending Millions on a Fancy New Space Agency?
REYHANLI, Turkey — When tanks and airstrikes destroyed his home in a village in northern Syria, Hani Barad fled with his family to safety in a nearby town.Hani Barad’s three children would go outside to play only to come running home in fear every time a plane flew overhead. “They were scared. That wasn’t life,” Barad said.When he was caught criticizing the Syrian government, Barad was arrested, tortured and jailed for two months. When he was released, fighting between rebels and government forces began to escalate. Again, he packed up his children and fled north, this time just over the Turkish border.Now the war has again encroached on their place of refuge. This time, it’s two allies of the United States — a Kurdish-Syrian rebel group and the Turkish government — slugging it out on the Turkish border.“We don’t want that again, if we have to leave here, we will leave,” Barad said.The … [Read more...] about Families struggle to find safety in Turkish border towns hit by rockets and crossfire
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's prosecutor general has launched an investigation into leading opposition figures who have called for a boycott of next month's presidential election, over accusations they are attempting to "overthrow the regime." Nabil Sadeq's office in a statement late Monday said it had referred a complaint filed against 13 individuals by a lawyer named Mohammed Hamid Salam to the Giza prosecutor's office, which may now call them in for examination. The move is yet another sign that authorities will not allow even the slightest questioning of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's continued rule ahead of the March vote, in which he is the only serious candidate despite a last-minute bid launched by a supporter. A coalition of eight opposition parties and some 150 prominent pro-democracy figures, including former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, announced a boycott last month. The complaint accuses them of "incitement against the state" and trying to destabilize the … [Read more...] about Egypt to investigate those calling for vote boycott