Egyptians Protest Plan to Cede Islands to Saudi

June 16, 2017

Egypt police

Egyptians continue to take to the streets against the parliament’s recent approval of a controversial plan to transfer the sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, even after police arrested dozens of activists who had called for mass protests.

Egyptian police raided homes in the capital, Cairo, and at least 10 provinces across the country and arrested at least 40 people before nightfall on Thursday, said lawyers Mohammed Abdel-Aziz and Gamal Eid.

The detainees, most of whom were linked to secular democratic parties, have been arrested for calls on social media for protests to be held Friday at Cairo’s Tahrir Square against the parliament’s Wednesday approval of a deal to hand over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

At least eight people, including three journalists, were also arrested during a rally on Tuesday, facing charges of disrupting public services and security and protesting without a permit, said the lawyers.

“The government has chosen more oppression rather than dialog,” Eid said. “The arrests are meant to distract anyone who intends to protest tomorrow and sow confusion in the ranks of the opposition.”

A Facebook page named “Giving up land is treason,” has urged people to protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Thousands have so far backed the call.

Last year, a similar call for protests over the islands drew thousands of people. Police, which had been deployed in large numbers, beat up and arrested hundreds of protesters and activists.

The deal, which was agreed during a visit to Egypt by Saudi King Salman in April 2016, has so far been subject to challenges in court over the past year. It even became a source of tension between Riyadh and Cairo.

Source: Press TV

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Macron’s rationality and the Syrian-Iraqi borders عقلانية ماكرون والحدود السورية العراقية

Macron’s rationality and the Syrian-Iraqi borders

يونيو 4, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Russia through the force of its President Vladimir Putin and its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was present in two important stations outside the priorities of the US President Donald Trump, and beyond its distinguished relationship with Turkey as well as its keenness to support it with a balanced role within a regional system led by Moscow where Ankara and Tehran represent its parties. Moscow had an understanding with Paris that allows its inclusion to the efforts of building a new regional system under the sponsorship of Russia, it  made the same thing with Cairo. In the US absence of the war of Libya between the government of Firas Al-Sarraj who is supported by Turkey and NATO, and the commander Khalifa Hafter who is supported by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Moscow devoted its importance to support Egypt, but in a remarkable change toward the political rationality the new French President Emanuel Macron after his meeting with the President Putin emerged to announce the support of a political solution in Syria that does not impose a negative attitude towards the Syrian President, on the contrary  it paves the way for a cooperation with him on the basis of the Russian equation, which based on linking the transitional stage with keeping the state and its institutions, which means adopting the constitutional shift starting from a government in the light of the Syrian President and ending with elections according to a new constitution in which he participates.

When the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Choukri talks about a strategic cooperation in the war on terrorism that includes logistic, technical, operations, and intelligence support through a joint operations room with Russia, and when the President Macron talks after his meeting with the President Putin about a strategic cooperation committee that aims to put a comprehensive vision about the war on terrorism and the establishment of a comprehensive stability in the region, without ignoring to indicate to open the French embassy in Damascus but it is not among the priorities now, after it was from the taboos, then this means the success of Moscow to include two important forces in the policies of the Middle East; France and Egypt along with Turkey and Iran even from different positions to create the political solutions as the necessity of the war on terrorism.

To the extent through which Macron knows that the French interior supports a foreign policy that based on the openness to Russia and the solution in Syria in cooperation with the Syrian state, after his ancestor Hollande has put his popularity a cost for a reverse consideration, the Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi and his government know the vitality of the battle of Libya for the security of Egypt, and they both know that NATO will not support Egypt in its war against the government of Al-Sarraj, while Russia will not break up its relation  with Turkey which supports Al-Sarraj, but it will continue supporting Egypt to win this war. France and Egypt were observing carefully the last wars of the US administration before making the critical shift toward Russia. The war has a title to prevent the connection between the Syrian army and the Popular Crowd across the Syrian-Iraqi borders, because this connection means practically resolving the course of war and the direction of the new balances, but this connection is no longer possible to be prevented after the arrival of the Popular Crowd to the Syrian borders and the progress of the Syrian army by having control over twenty thousand square kilometers from Badia towards the borders despite the US warnings.

Mohammed Bin Salman will go to Moscow to meet the President Putin having these considerations along with the need to cooperate with Moscow to control the oil market and its prices, after the Saudi expenses have been increased, and after the deficit resulted from the visit of the US President increased.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

عقلانية ماكرون والحدود السورية العراقية

مايو 30, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– فيما حضرت روسيا بقوة برئيسها فلاديمير بوتين ووزير خارجيتها سيرغي لافروف في محطتين هامتين خارج دائرة أولوية الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، وعابرة فوق علاقتها المميزة مع تركيا وحرصها على استيعابها بدور وازن ضمن منظومة إقليمية تقودها موسكو وتمثل أنقرة وطهران جناحيها، توّجت موسكو مع باريس تفاهماً يتيح ضمّها لجهود بناء نظام إقليمي جديد برعاية روسية، وفعلت الشيء نفسه مع القاهرة. ففي غياب أميركي عن حرب ليبيا بين حكومة فايز السراج المدعوم من تركيا وحلف الأطلسي وقائد الجيش خليفة حفتر المدعوم من مصر والسعودية، وضعت موسكو ثقلها لمساندة مصر. وفي تغيير لافت نحو العقلانية السياسية خرج الرئيس الفرنسي الجديد إيمانويل ماكرون بعد لقائه الرئيس بوتين ليعلن دعم حلّ سياسي في سورية، لا يشترط السلبية تجاه الرئيس السوري بل يفتح مجالاً للتعاون معه إلى قاعدة المعادلة الروسية التي تقوم على ربط المرحلة الانتقالية بالحفاظ على الدولة ومؤسساتها، ما يعني اعتماد الانتقال الدستوري، بدءاً بحكومة في ظلّ الرئيس السوري وانتهاء بانتخابات وفقاً لدستور جديد يشارك فيها.

– عندما يخرج وزير الخارجية المصري سامح شكري يتحدث عن تعاون استراتيجي في مجال الحرب على الإرهاب، يتضمّن دعماً لوجستياً وتقنياً وعملياتياً واستخبارياً عبر غرفة عمليات مشتركة مع روسيا، ويخرج الرئيس ماكرون من لقائه مع الرئيس بوتين يتحدّث عن لجنة تعاون استراتيجي بهدف وضع تصوّر شامل للحرب على الإرهاب وإقامة استقرار شامل في المنطقة، من دون أن يستبعد فتح السفارة الفرنسية في دمشق بقوله ليست ضمن الأولويات حالياً، بعدما كانت من المحرّمات سابقاً، فذلك يعني نجاح موسكو بضمّ قوتين وازنتين في سياسات الشرق الأوسط هما فرنسا ومصر إلى جانب تركيا وإيران، ولو من مواقع مختلفة وخلافية، لصناعة الحلول السياسية كخلفية ضرورية لخوض الحرب على الإرهاب.

– بالمقدار الذي يعرف ماكرون أنّ الداخل الفرنسي يساند سياسة خارجية تقوم على الانفتاح على روسيا والحلّ في سورية بالتعاون مع الدولة السورية، وأنّ سلفه هولاند وضع رصيده الشعبي ثمناً لعناد معاكس، يعرف الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي وحكومته حيوية معركة ليبيا لأمن مصر، ويعرفان أنّ الأطلسي لن يساند مصر في حربها على حكومة السراج، بينما لا تتوقف روسيا عند علاقتها بتركيا الداعمة للسراج وتمدّ يدها كما في السابق لمصر للفوز بهذه الحرب، لكن فرنسا ومصر كانتا تراقبان بعناية آخر حروب الإدارة الأميركية قبل إحداث النقلة الحاسمة نحو روسيا. والحرب لها عنوان هو منع التواصل بين الجيش السوري والحشد الشعبي عبر الحدود السورية العراقية. وهذا التواصل يعني عملياً حسم وجهة الحرب ووجهة التوازنات الجديدة، وهو تواصل ما عاد ممكناً منعه بعد بلوغ الحشد الشعبي الحدود مع سورية، وتقدّم الجيش السوري بالسيطرة على عشرين ألف كلم مربع من البادية باتجاه الحدود، رغم الإنذارات الأميركية.

– يتوجّه محمد بن سلمان إلى موسكو للقاء الرئيس بوتين، وأمامه هذه الصورة ومعها الحاجة لتعاون موسكو في ضبط سوق النفط وأسعاره، بعدما زادت النفقات السعودية وزاد العجز بمترتبات زيارة الرئيس الأميركي.

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Azmi Bishara: The MOSSAD “Arab” thinker



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Palm Sunday Attacks Against Christians–What are the Ramifications?

At least 44 people have been killed and scores of others injured in bombings carried out at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt. ISIS has claimed responsibility for both attacks, while the US government, which essentially has served as ISIS’s air force in Syria, has somewhat hypocritically condemned them.

The first attack occurred in Tanta, a city located in the Nile Delta between Cairo and Alexandria. The bomb went off at the St. George Church, where worshipers had gathered for Palm Sunday services. At least 27 people were killed and 78 wounded.

A few hours later, a second bomb exploded–at the St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. Here at least 17 were killed and some 48 wounded.

“So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns. I have great…confidence that President Al Sisi will handle situation properly,” said President Trump.

Mark Toner, the State Department’s acting spokesperson, called the bombings “barbaric attacks on Christian places of worship,” and assured reporters that “the United States will continue to support Egypt’s security and stability in its efforts to defeat terrorism.”

But US efforts to overthrow the President Bashar Assad in Syria would suggest that the US government has little concern about protecting Christians in the Middle East. The church bombings come just three days after the US launched Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase in Homs province in western Syria, and this wasn’t even the first attack carried out by US forces against those defending their homeland from terrorist invasion.

On September 17 last year, US coalition aircraft struck a Syrian airbase in Deir ez-Zor province in the eastern part of the country, killing at least 62 Syrian troops. The Obama administration claimed the attack had been an “accident,” but Assad said it was intentional and had lasted for an hour.

Perhaps hardly surprising, then, that Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, commenting on the attack, spoke of the “terrifying conclusion” which the world must draw from it:

“If previously we had suspicions that Al-Nusra Front is protected this way, now, after today’s airstrikes on the Syrian army we come to a really terrifying conclusion for the entire world: The White House is defending IS,” Zakharova said.

And that was back in September.

So let’s see…that’s two US attacks on two Syrian airbases in less than seven months. And in both cases Islamic State militants, almost as if they had been tipped off in advance, launched offensives immediately afterwards.

All this to overthrow a man who heads up a secular government that has protected Christians.

 photo attackegypt_zps94ehuacj.jpg

“After the explosion, everything became dark from the smoke,” said one witness of the attack in Tanta.

“Deacons were the first to run out of the church. Many of them had blood on their white robes,” said another.

In claiming responsibility for the attack, ISIS stated: “The Crusaders and their tails from the apostates must be aware that the bill between us and them is very large and they will be paying it like a river of blood from their sons, if God willing.”

One analyst, in comments to RT, expressed suspicion at the timing of the attacks.

“I talked to some people [after the attacks], and they were all criticizing the terrorists and were wondering why this happened at this time: when tourism in Egypt is improving, when the country is stabilizing, there is international support of Sisi’s regime. So, whoever is doing this [the bombings] is standing behind terrorism. It’s simple to say that they are terrorists, but who is behind the terrorists? This is the issue.”

One who seems to be under no illusion on that score is Archbishop Atallah Hanna, of the Greek Orthodox church of Jerusalem.

“These misguided American policies in the Middle East are a major reason behind the mass exodus of Christians from the region that has occurred over the years,” said Hanna.

“Who created the terrorist groups and who is providing them with money and arms? Who has been destroying Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya? Who caused the displacement of the Palestinian people? All catastrophes that Palestinians have suffered and are still suffering from were abetted by American and Western governments,” he added.

Unlike the Christians of Egypt, those in Syria seem to have had a peaceful Palm Sunday.

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Syrian Christians celebrate all across .

This is possible thanks to the Syrian gov’t, which the US wants to overthrow.

 If the Assad government falls, it will, needless to say, be a disaster for Christians in Syria. But there are indications this is precisely the objective the US now intends to pursue.

The Washington Post on Sunday posted a pro-war propaganda piece informing readers the Trump administration has “demanded” that Russia drop its support for Assad. Not requested politely. But demanded.

The story quotes a top national security advisor, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who strongly implies that Russia had advanced knowledge of the alleged chemical attack, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are also quoted.

“I think what we should do is ask Russia, how could it be, if you have advisers at that airfield, that you didn’t know that the Syrian air force was preparing and executing a mass murder attack with chemical weapons,” McMaster said.

Is Nikki Haley going to hold up pictures of dead Coptic Christians and demand action? I doubt it.

“In no way do we see peace in that area with Russia covering up for Assad,” said Haley. “And in no way do we see peace in that area with Assad at the head of the Syrian government.”

Meanwhile, South Front is reporting that the US is now deploying forces at the Syrian-Jordanian border, and that a Navy ship loaded with US military vehicles has also docked at the Jordanian port of Al-Aqapa.

Palm Sunday in Occupied Palestine

While there haven’t been any church bombings, Palm Sunday in Occupied Palestine doesn’t seem to have been entirely uneventful.

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forces harassed Palestinian worshippers in Occupied during procession cause they raised flags.

Watch Israeli Occupiers attacking Palestinian Christians w/ palm branches in hand, during their march in Occupied J’slm

Israeli occupation forces harass Palestinian Christian in occupied Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

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Israeli forces assault Palestinian worshippers for raising our flag during procession today in occupied East Jerusalem.

There’s a Deep State in America?!

February 18, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

There’s a Deep State in America?!

Imagine my surprise when, on my flight back from San Francisco to New York, that’s what my trusty New York Times revealed to me.

My first thought was: I can’t believe how this horrible Donald Trump has set up a Deep State in less than a month?!

Surely Russia was involved in its formation.

Then again, I strangely find myself thinking a lot about Russia these days. I’ll admit it – when my morning breakfast was late it fleetingly occurred to me that the Kremlin was behind this slowdown in my hotel room service.

Putting that aside, I was immediately relieved when by the 3rd paragraph our nation’s paper of record had put to rest my fears of an unprecedented formation of a US Deep State with, “Not quite, experts say….”


I just don’t put anything past the evil capabilities of the Donald!

Reading the article I was surprised to find that the Deep State isn’t what I thought it was – apparently it’s only when the government leaks information to the media?

That’s funny, because one time on the SF-NYC “Job Creator Red-eye” I sat next to an Egyptian guy. Of course I was worried, at first, but I found out it he was a Coptic Christian, so that put me at ease. Who even knew they had those?!

This Egyptian told me about his country’s Deep State, and it sounded really bad:

He said that they colluded with “some Western countries” – he didn’t say which and looked kind of uncomfortable as he said it, for some reason – to stop that great Tahrir Square Revolution which was to guarantee that Israel would be safe.

“Mr. Gypsy” said that the Egyptian version of the Deep State was that their military controlled the economy, and that they bribed, imprisoned and killed people to keep their grip on the economy and control over foreign policy.

It sounded pretty bad.

I told him I was happy that Washington was supporting Al-Sisi’s military takeover with billions in aid, and that he didn’t have to thank me personally for that.

A “military” intertwined with the “economy”…I must admit, it did make me think.

Of Russia! I’m nearly certain that Putin created something similar over thereafter he banned elections, so why even verify it with some research?!

But this Egyptian must not have known what he was talking about, because the New York Times article didn’t say anything about the economy?

What they said was:

“Mr. Trump, apparently seeking to cut the intelligence community, State Department, and other agencies out of the policy-making process almost entirely, may have triggered a conflict whose escalation we are seeing in the rising number of leaks.”

Officials, deprived of the usual levers for shaping policies that are supposed to be their purview, are left with little other than leaking.”

Trump was clearly trying to cut public officials out of the democratic process, and they had no choice but to resort to these “illegal” leaks!

I mean, I’m pretty sure you don’t get elected to be a CIA spy or NSA agent, but somebody up top is and…well, I don’t know if they did the leaks…and I don’t know if the leaks are really true or not…but I’m telling you – we have to get Donald out NOW!

Anything that’s bad for Trump must be good. It’s really that simple, so case closed.

“We’re in a world now where the president is playing to the edge of his powers, and I think there are real concerns about the constitutional implications of some of the actions he’s taken,” said somebody who must be totally objective and perfect because why else would the New York Times choose them?

If there’s one thing Obama never, ever, ever did it was to expand his executive authority in ways unbeseeming to the presidential authority.

If Obama had done that, I would have been in the streets, you can bet! Trust me: I have my anti-Trump “pussy hat” in my closet and ready for the next protest!

Don’t bring up “drones”! You’ll just remind me of this guy at work nobody understands – Fazlollah “Lefty” Bittermani – he’s always doing that!

Between you and me, his last name ends in a vowel, so…you know….he may have certain sympathies. That guy really cheeses me off!

What Lefty doesn’t realize is that we are at war – not with Russia, yet – but with – not Muslims – but with…certain people, let’s just say. And the president has the right to fight war however he wants.

But when it comes to waging diplomacy the president must be restricted as much as possible!

We refuse to accept Hillary’s defeat until the Russians give back the Donbass to the Crimeans! This is simply a question of our humanitarian rights!

Trump is trying to make a liar out of not just Hillary, but of Sylvester Stallone and “Rocky IV” – even when the Russians cheat they are still supposed to lose to the Americans!

Was I back on Russia again? I don’t know…I’m like, obsessed with them, or something?

Back to the New York Times, which always reassures me when contradictions confuse me. Just after that last quote they wrote this:

That has forced officials in agencies to ask how far they will go themselves. As each side begins to perceive itself as under attack and the other as making dangerous power-grabs, it will justify more and more extreme behavior.

So clearly, these officials are justified more and more in extreme behavior…because it’s Trump!

I really wish we had some of these great, extreme officials during the Dubya era, but why bring up ancient history?

One thing is certain: During just four weeks in office Trump has clearly destroyed the culture and future of the United States and must be impeached. These officials – even if they are unelected – should absolutely not be listening to their elected leader!

Why? Well just read the next paragraph, another unassailable analyst of the Times:

“In President Trump, you have a president whose behavior shocks even more than the content of his policies.”

Yes! Behavior, not content!

I was telling my son this recently: He came in 19th place in a recent science competition (but out of 24!), and he was upset that his blue ribbon wasn’t an actual trophy.

I told him, “Son, I’m going to buy you that trophy because your behavior was correct, even if you totally screwed up measuring the contents of your volcano experiment, and it exploded and burned the girl next to you.”

I think the girl was Russian, anyway. She was certainly shocked.

Anyway, the Times goes on to say that now this dangerous Trump wants to appoint someone to review our intelligence agencies. Astounding, the gall of this man! I really think he’s psychologically insane.

“It looks, sounds and feels like a political witch hunt,” said Analyst #1 (the White one, not the Egyptian one). “It’s like pouring gasoline on the fire.”

It certainly does!

What else do you call our top elected official trying to find out what work is being illegally done in secret with taxpayer money?

I am certain this is something Putin would do with his KGB.

And that’s why Russia is not free – because the KGB cannot operate freely to undermine Putin’s attempts at diplomacy!

Don’t tell me I’m wrong, comrade!

“Mr. Flynn, in his short tenure, exemplified the breakdown between the president’s inner circle and career civil servants. He kept the National Security Council largely shut out of policy-making and sought sweeping changes in foreign policy.”

This is the US, not the USSR! Our career bureaucrats need to be in charge, not our elected officials!

Trump simply cannot make sweeping changes to foreign policy – even if he was democratically elected on that mandate – because career civil servants should run the show!

The next paragraph:

“For concerned government officials, leaks may have become one of the few remaining means by which to influence not just Mr. Flynn’s policy initiatives but the threat he seemed to pose to their place in democracy.”

Democracy is bureaucracy!

You vote for a person, they appoint an official, the person you voted for gets voted out of office, but the appointed official stays forever and amasses power – democracy!

I tried to explain this to that Egyptian guy, but he said,

“Then what’s the point of demonstrating and facing down gun barrels if the people can’t demand change?”

I kept telling him:

“But Israel is fine these days? Tahrir worked out great!”

He didn’t get it.

Anyway, Egypt is not the country who is threatening American democracy, and I don’t have to tell you who is, because I’ve just taken that pill that helps me with my compulsive psychological issues.

The Times continued:

Even if each individual leak is justifiable, as insubordination becomes more sustained and overt, it inches deeper into the gray zone of counter-democratic activities.

I already had the feeling that every anti-Trump leaks was justifiable, and that we are still many, many inches away from counter-democracy, so thanks Gray Lady! I almost had to take that other pill for my anxiety!

And “insubordination” is clearly justified because, as I said, in 4 weeks Trump has already proven himself to be a new Hitler! Don’t get me started on Steve Bannon!

“I don’t think you can say in advance what inappropriate deep-state activity would look like, because we haven’t seen this before,” said Analyst #1.

Exactly – this is a totally new day, and this was all appropriate deep-state activity. We’ve never seen anything like this in the history of the world, much less America.

I told this to Lefty back at work and he started ranting about Kennedy. I totally did not see what Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had to do with this, but who can fathom what goes on in the mind of a Fazlollah?

The main thing is that we get Trump before he does damage to free trade, because my corporation and all businesses are totally helpless against the government.

They have no influence at all…unlike Egypt.

“There, ‘the deep state is not official institutions rebelling,’ he said, but rather ‘shadowy networks within those institutions, and within business, who are conspiring together and forming parallel state institutions.’”

We all know that there is absolutely nothing like this which is happening in America.

And that’s why the idea of business being involved in America’s Deep State did not appear until the 7th-to-last paragraph. I almost didn’t read that far!

And that’s why the New York Times finished on this heartening note:

“This war between the intelligence community and the White House is bad for the intelligence community, bad for the White House, and bad for the nation’s security.”

See? Our so-called Deep State has nothing to do with business. The New York Times is right next to Wall Street, so they would surely know, right?

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to make a call to the Pentagon for my work.

No, I’m in defense contracting or anything, but the Pentagon is the world’s largest employer…hard to work around them in the United States!

And the profit margins – wow!

I’m so glad our owners had a personal contact in there.

Frankly, I thought the New York Times’ headline was a bit too alarmist: “As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a ‘Deep State’ in America”.

But I’m glad they immediately put those fears to rest.

With that content, I would have run a headline like: “Internal leaks justified as Trump could affect share prices”.

I think that would have been more accurate.

Frankly I’m a bit surprised such a non-story could bump Russia off the front page?

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

Syria is the balance of power & Iraq is the balance of unity سورية ميزان القوة والعراق ميزان الوحدة سورية ميزان القوة والعراق ميزان الوحدة

Syria is the balance of power & Iraq is the balance of unity

Written by Nasser Kandil,

There was a prevailed saying that linked the power of the Arabs with the unity of Egypt and Syria and their weakness in their separation throughout almost a century, this saying has proved its trueness in all the standards of the historical and the contemporary approach, but the one who has formulated this equation did not pay attention that the unity of Egypt and Syria has been always preceded by the unity of Syria and Iraq that led to such an equation, as  the case in the Umayyad and Abbasid eras and in the war of Salah Aidin Al-Yabuobi toward Palestine. When Egypt and Syria have been unified in October War   in 1973 without this solid Syrian Iraqi base, the war has lost its opportunity in achieving its goals once the position of Egypt has changed. And for a period of time there was a political equation that talked about S-S, the intention here is Syria and Saudi Arabia and their meeting as a condition to compensate the absence of Egypt. It was proven that what was produced by this equation at the absence of solid Iraqi Syrian base was mere a truce between two Arab lines, a line that mortgages the fate of Palestine with negotiation, and a line that sees its future with the resistance, however at the moment of choice, the two lines collided and the gains which seemed that they are the gains of S-S has been fallen in Lebanon and elsewhere.

To the extent that the Syrian Iraqi relationship seems a firm insurance policy to the Arab situation, it seems that the West had big interests in its vandalizing and ensuring the weakness of its pivots during more than a half of a century. Repeatedly it was indulgent toward the birth of Egyptian Syrian cooperation or Syrian Saudi cooperation, but the Syrian Iraqi cooperation and integration has remained among the taboos for which national slogans have been formed to justify them.  So for a long time the Syrian Iraqi conflict was a substitute for the most important conflicts and a background for the absurdist conflicts, as replacing the priority of the Arab-Israeli conflict with evoking the Iraqi-Iranian one. At the present time, the Arab situations try to make a reformation that perceives the consequences of the wars of a half of a century ago, after the mightiest wars have ravaged all the Arab countries under the slogan of change and revolution, and before the war becomes the war of terrorism, chaos, and division. Syria and Iraq seem to be closer and coherent in fate than any time ago, where the geographical neighborhood increases

Israel which is the first involved in all the elements and the sources of power in the region does not seem absent for observing and following-up the Syrian Iraqi relationship, but the US and the Turkish sensors seem to be ready for intervening in necessary to prevent every Syrian Iraqi rapprochement and to disable it , and if it is needed to put ISIS in the bordered area and managing the war depending on it to keep the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers a weak flank area, and thus to be subject to present and the future tamper., by presenting issues that prevent their linkage. Therefore will not be Turkish withdrawal from Ba’shiqah if it is related with a Turkish withdrawal from the Syrian territories, and there will not be US support to liberate Al Mosul if it is related with having control over the Iraqi borders with Syria.

This time the understanding and the integration between Syria and Iraq seems the necessary prescription for recovery, not mere an additional way for further strength and recovery. The salvation of the two countries from the risk of terrorism does not seem possible without a direct cooperation between their two armies, and having control over the borders before some of the Syrian geography turns to be a temporary shelter for returning back to Iraq and vice versa. While the powerful Syria against the Israeli threat as a criterion for the winning of Syria in the outcome of its last war depends on the geographic linkage with its strategic depth in Iran, and through this linkage it can maintain the position of Syria as a pivotal base for the forces of the resistance. while the economic steadfastness of Iraq as a main salvation from the state of regression which it experienced since the US blockade and then the occupation seems related with the integration with Syria and its access to the oil port across it to the Mediterranean Sea, this integration will be stronger and ever stronger if it is an Iraqi Iranian Syrian integration, as it seems that the standard of the Iraqi exit from the US political auspices  depends on the Iraqi daring to converge Syria and to meet it.

As much as it seems that the recovery of Syria and the Arab situation from the weakness will be through recapturing the sources of force which stand against the Israeli challenges, it seems that the recovery of Iraq and the Arabs from the division and the strife will be by democratic consensus formulas that end the risk of strife and division through surpassing the sectarian tensions which either they ignite from Iraq and thus ignite in all the region, or they cool down in Iraq and thus cool down in all the region, as well as through an Arab Kurdish understanding where there is no place for the Israeli in drawing his hidden lines, on the contrary this understanding will reassure the Kurds for their legitimate aspirations, and provide innovative solutions for the chronic issues of the conflict, in exchange of the reassurance to the unity of Iraq and the cohesion of the sources of its force. Therefore the Iraqi accordance becomes a recipe for reassurance against the sectarian, national and ethnic tensions feared by any Arab country, because they threaten of its inflammation or fragmentation.

The power of the Arabs is by the power of Syria, and the unity of their countries is by the unity of Iraq. The strong Syria with unified Iraq is Arab recipe for the power and the unity, where Egypt and the Gulf will have an important place in that map. This is the unity and the strength of the Levant, the stable starting point for every unity and for every power.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh

سورية ميزان القوة والعراق ميزان الوحدة سورية ميزان القوة والعراق ميزان الوحدة

ناصر قنديل
– سادت مقولة تضع قوة العرب بوحدة مصر وسورية وضعفهم بتفرقهما، طوال قرن تقريباً، وثبتت صحتها في مقاييس المقاربة التاريخية والمعاصرة كلها، لكن الذي لم ينتبه له من صاغ هذه المعادلة هو أن وحدة مصر وسورية كانت دائماً مسبوقة بوحدة سورية والعراق كي تحقق هذه النتيجة، كما هو الحال في العهدين الأموي والعباسي وفي حرب صلاح الدين الأيوبي نحو فلسطين، وعندما توحّدت مصر وسورية في حرب تشرين عام 1973 دون هذه القاعدة السورية العراقية الصلبة فقدت الحرب فرصتها في بلوغ أهدافها بمجرد اهتزاز موقف مصر. وسادت لفترة معادلة سياسية تتحدّث عن السين السين، والقصد سورية والسعودية، وتلاقيهما كشرط لتعويض غياب مصر، وثبت أن ما أنتجته هذه المعادلة بغياب قاعدة سورية عراقية صلبة كان مجرد هدنة بين خطين عربيين خط يرهن مصير فلسطين بالتفاوض وخط يرى مستقبلها في المقاومة. وفي لحظة الاختيار تصادم الخطان وأطيحت ما بدأ أنها مكتسبات السين سين، في لبنان وسواه.

– بالقدر الذي تبدو العلاقة السورية العراقية بوليصة تأمين راسخة للوضع العربي، يبدو أن الغرب قد اهتمّ كثيراً بتخريبها وضمان ضعف مرتكزاتها خلال أكثر من نصف قرن، وهو تساهل مراراً بولادة تعاون مصري سوري أو سعودي سوري، لكن التعاون والتكامل السوري العراقي بقي من المحرّمات التي صيغت لتبريرها أحياناً شعارات قومية، جعلت لفترة غير قصيرة الصراع السوري العراقي بديلاً عن الصراعات الأهم وخلفية للصراعات العبثية، كحال استبدال أولوية الصراع العربي «الإسرائيلي» باستحضار الصراع العراقي الإيراني. وفي التوقيت الراهن الذي تتجه فيه الأوضاع العربية لإعادة تأسيس تستوعب نتائج حروب نصف قرن مضى، وقد عصفت أعتى الحروب وآخرها ببلاد العرب كلها، تحت شعار التغيير والثورة، قبل أن تصبح حرب الإرهاب والفوضى والتقسيم، تظهر سورية ويظهر العراق أشدّ قرباً وترابطاً بالمصير من أي مرحلة مضت، يزيدهما الجوار الجغرافي حاجة لبعضهما البعض، ويزيد من حاجة العرب لهما معاً.

– إسرائيل كمعني أول بكل عناصر القوة ومصادرها في المنطقة لا تبدو غائبة عن مراقبة ومتابعة العلاقة السورية العراقية. وتبدو المجسّات الأميركية والتركية منصوبة وجاهزة للتدخل عند الضرورة لمنع كل تقارب سوري عراقي ووضع العصي في دواليبه. وإن اقتضى الأمر زرع داعش في المنطقة الحدودية، وإدارة الحرب على داعش بما يبقي منطقة ما بين نهرَي دجلة والفرات خاصرة رخوة لزجة صالحة للعبث الحاضر والمستقبلي، وتقديم التعامل المزدوج مع قضايا واستحقاقات البلدين كإغراء لعدم ربط ملفات أحدهما بالآخر، فلا انسحاب تركي من بعشيقة إذا ارتبط بالانسحاب التركي من الأراضي السورية، ولا دعم أميركي لتحرير الموصل إذا ارتبط بالإمساك بالحدود العراقية مع سورية.

– هذه المرة يبدو تفاهم وتكامل العراق وسورية كوصفة الضرورة للتعافي، وليس مجرد طريق إضافية لمزيد من القوة والعافية، فلا يبدو خلاص البلدين من خطر الإرهاب ممكناً بلا تعاون مباشر بين جيشيهما، وإمساك الحدود قبل أن يتحوّل بعض الجغرافيا السورية ملاذاً مؤقتاً للعودة إلى العراق والعكس بالعكس، فيما تبدو سورية القوية بوجه الخطر «الإسرائيلي» كمعيار لفوز سورية في حصيلة حربها آخر الطريق، وقفاً على تواصل سورية الجغرافي مع عمقها الاستراتيجي في إيران، والحفاظ عبر هذا التواصل على موقع سورية كقاعدة محورية لقوى المقاومة. كما يبدو الصعود الاقتصادي للعراق كخشبة خلاص رئيسة من وضع التراجع الذي يعيشه منذ الحصار الأميركي ولاحقاً الاحتلال رهناً بالتكامل مع سورية ووصوله لمنفذ نفطي عبرها على البحر المتوسط سيكون أقوى وأفعل بقدر ما يكون عراقياً إيرانياً سورياً. كما يبدو معيار الخروج العراقي من تحت الوصاية السياسية الأميركية بمقدار التجرؤ العراقي على التقارب من سورية والتلاقي معها.

– بمقدار ما يقاس تعافي سورية وتعافي الوضع العربي معها من أمراض الضعف، باسترداد سورية لمصادر القوة التي تقف بوجه التحديات «الإسرائيلية»، يبدو قياس تعافي العراق وتعافي العرب معه من أمراض الانقسام والفتن، بصيغ توافقية ديمقراطية تسووية تنهي مخاطر الفتن والتقسيم، عبر تخطي التوترات المذهبية التي إما أن تشتعل من العراق فتشعل المنطقة أو تنطفئ في العراق فتهدأ المنطقة، وعبر تفاهم عربي كردي لا مكان لـ«الإسرائيلي» في كتابة سطوره الخفية، يطمئن الأكراد لتطلعاتهم المشروعة ويقدم حلولاً مبتكرة لقضايا النزاع المزمنة، مقابل الاطمئنان لوحدة العراق وتماسك مصادر قوته، ويصير التوافق العراقي وصفة اطمئنان للتوترات المذهبية والقومية والعرقية التي يخشاها كل بلد عربي وتهدد بإشعاله أو تفتيته.

– قوة العرب بقوة سورية ووحدة بلدانهم بوحدة العراق. سورية قوية مع عراق موحّد وصفة عربية للقوة والوحدة، يصير معها لمصر والخليج مكان لائق في خريطة القوة والوحدة، هذه هي وحدة بلاد الشام وقوتها نقطة البداية الثابتة لكل وحدة ولكل قوة.

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As-Safir: Egypt Pilots Arrive in Syria to Boost War on Terror

Local Editor

Egypt reportedly sent 18 helicopter pilots to Syria to support the war-torn Arab nation in its fight against terrorism, and mulls more deployments to the same end early next year.


As-Safir: Egypt Pilots Deployed to Boost Syria's War on Terror

On Thursday, Lebanese As-Safir paper cited “well-informed Arab sources” as reporting that Egypt had dispatched the pilots to an airbase in the western Syrian city of Hama on November 12, adding that the contingent was joined by four senior Egyptian military figures upon arrival.

It added that two Egyptian major generals had also been operating at the Armed Forces Staff Headquarters in the Syrian capital Damascus since last month. They have been touring frontlines, including the “Southern Front” in the city of Quneitra.

The daily cited one source “close to the Syria file” as saying that a large deployment of Egyptian troops will arrive in Syria in late January 2017 to take part in military operations “not limited to air support at Hama airbase.”

Major General Ali Mamlouk, the head of Syria’s National Security Bureau, had paid an official one-day visit to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, in October and held talks with senior Egyptian intelligence officials.

The two sides reached an agreement on “coordinating political standpoints” and improving bilateral “cooperation in the combat against terrorism” during the talks, official Syrian Arab News Agency reported at the time.

A month earlier, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry announced that Cairo and Riyadh did not share common attitudes vis-à-vis the ongoing crisis in Syria. Shoukry said that terrorist groups cannot remain in Syria if peace is to be achieved in the conflict-stricken Arab country.

While Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf region, particularly Qatar, are financially and militarily supporting the extremists fighting to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Egyptian officials reiterated that the crisis in Syria can only be solved through political means.

On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi said he supported the Syrian army in its war against terrorists.

“Our priority is to support national armies, for example in Libya to assert control over Libyan territories and deal with extremist elements. The same with Syria and Iraq,” he said.

Despite having received billions of dollars in aid from Saudi Arabia, Cairo has refused to align itself with Riyadh on issues concerning Syria and also stopped short of joining the kingdom’s March 2015-present war on Yemen, which has claimed the lives of thousands.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

25-11-2016 | 13:23


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18 طياراً ينضمون إلى قاعدة حماه الجوية

طلائع عسكرية مصرية في سوريا

طليعة قوات مصرية في سوريا. «القفزة الصغيرة التي تحتاجها العلاقات السورية المصرية كي تعود إلى طبيعتها»، والتي تحدث عنها قبل أربعة أيام وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم، قد تكون حدثت، وتنتظر تكريساً قريباً مع وصول ديبلوماسي مصري رفيع إلى دمشق، قد يكون وزير الخارجية سامح شكري أو أحد كبار مساعديه.

فالمصريون توقفوا عن مراقبة ما يجري في سوريا دون أن يتحركوا، وقرروا الذهاب أبعد من استطلاع ما يجري على جبهة الشام ومجالهم الأمني القومي، إلى الانخراط تدريجياً، في سوريا. فمنذ الثاني عشر من هذا الشهر، تعمل في قاعدة حماه الجوية وحدةٌ مصرية تضم 18 طياراً، ينتمون إلى تشكيل مروحيات بشكل خاص. وليس مؤكداً أن الطيارين المصريين قد بدأوا المشاركة أم لا في العمليات الجوية، لكن انضمامهم الى عمليات قاعدة حماه، واختيار الطيارين من بين تشكيل الحوامات المصرية، يعكس قراراً مصرياً سورياً بتسريع دمج القوة المصرية، لأن الجيش المصري لا يزال يملك، برغم أمركة أسلحته الجوية الواسعة في الثمانينيات، أسرابا من 60 مروحية روسية من طراز «مي 8»، فيما لم يتبقَّ من الخمسين مروحية سورية من الطراز ذاته، بعد خمسة أعوام من القتال، إلا النصف تقريباً، وهي مروحيات تطلق صواريخ غير موجهة، ومخصصة لنقل القوات الخاصة، وقادرة على العمل بسرعة في مسارح العمليات السورية.

تَقَدَّم الوحدةَ عند وصولها أربعة ضباط كبار من هيئة الأركان المصرية. وفي مقرّ الأركان السورية في دمشق، يعمل منذ شهر ضابطان مصريان برتبة لواء، على مقربة من غرف العمليات. وقالت مصادر عربية مطلعة لـ «السفير» إن اللواءين المصريين يقومان بجولات استطلاعية على الجبهات السورية، منذ وصولهما الى دمشق قبل شهر. وشملت العمليات التقييمية للضباط المصريين معظم الجبهات، وكان آخرُها الجبهة الجنوبية، في القنيطرة، وخطوط فصل القوات مع الجولان المحتل، ودرعا. وأمس الأول، شارك اللواءان المصريان في اجتماع تقييمي لمنطقة عمليات الفرقة الخامسة السورية التي تنتشر حول درعا. وقد عقد الاجتماع المصري السوري في مقر الفرقة السورية في مدينة ازرع، بعد زيارة استطلاعية قاما بها لقاعدة الثعلة الجوية في ريف السويداء.

والأرجح أن ما يجري ليس سوى ثمرة جهود واتصالات مصرية سورية، تكثفت خلال الأسابيع الأخيرة، بعد سلسلة من اللقاءات الأمنية غير المعلنة بدأت قبل أكثر من عام بين القاهرة ودمشق. الوحدة المصرية وصلت بعد ثلاثة أسابيع من زيارة اليوم الواحد التي قام بها الى القاهرة في السابع عشر من تشرين الأول الماضي، أعلى مسؤول أمني سوري، اللواء علي المملوك رئيس مكتب الأمن الوطني، للقاء اللواء خالد فوزي نائب رئيس جهاز الأمن القومي المصري. وتذهب مصادر عربية الى توقع أن يكون الانخراط المصري أكثر من عملية رمزية، برغم معانيها السياسية والاستراتيجية التي تمسُّ طبيعة الصراع الإقليمي حول سوريا، وأن تتعداها الى إرسال قوات صاعقة مصرية للمشاركة على نطاق أوسع في دعم الجيش السوري. ونقلت مصادر عن مسؤول أمني سوري رفيع قوله إن المصريين وعدوا الجانب السوري بإرسال قوات الى سوريا، وإن موعد ما بعد الثالث والعشرين من كانون الثاني المقبل سيكون ساعة الصفر التي سترتفع بعدها وتيرة الانخراط المصري العسكري في سوريا، دون أن يتبين رسمياً سقف ذلك الانخراط. ويقول مصدر سوري مقرب من الملف لـ «السفير» إن موعد ما بعد كانون الثاني المقبل سيشهد وصول قوات مصرية كبيرة ستشارك في العمليات العسكرية، ولن تكتفي بتقديم المدد الجوي في قاعدة حماه.

ويتقاطع وصول الوحدة المصرية الى القاعدة الجوية السورية، التي تشهد عمليات قتالية واسعة حولها منذ أشهر، مع إعراب الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي بوضوح عن دعم مصر لـ «الجيش السوري» في ما يتجاوز كلاسيكيات الدعوة الى مكافحة الإرهاب، وملامسة عناصر ثلاثية القاهرة، دمشق، بغداد، لترميم منظومة الأمن الإقليمي العربي التي أطاحتها التدخلات التركية والأميركية، وهيمنة السعودية على المؤسسات العربية المشتركة، خصوصاً الجامعة العربية التي لم يعد لها أي وجود.

ففي إطار حديث أدلى به أمس الى الصحافي البرتغالي باولو دانتينيو، تقدم الرئيس المصري نحو موقف يُعَدُّ الأقرب من دمشق. وقال السيسي إن

«الأولوية الأولى لنا أن ندعم الجيش الوطني على سبيل المثال فى ليبيا لفرض السيطرة على الأراضي الليبية والتعامل مع العناصر المتطرفة وإحداث الاستقرار المطلوب، والكلام نفسه في سوريا.. ندعم الجيش السوري وأيضا العراق».

ويرفض الرئيس المصري توسيع التدخل الدولي في سوريا حتى تحت أعلام الأمم المتحدة، وإبقاء الجيش السوري محور أي عملية تهدف الى إعادة فرض الأمن والاستقرار في سوريا. وقال الرئيس المصري «من المفضل أن تكون القوات الوطنية للدول هي التي تقوم بالحفاظ على الأمن والاستقرار في مثل هذه الأحوال».
وأشار السيسي إلى أن «سوريا تعاني من أزمة عميقة منذ خمس سنوات، وموقفنا منها في مصر يتمثل في أننا نحترم إرادة الشعب السوري، وأن إيجاد حل سياسي للأزمة السورية هو الحل الأمثل، ولا بد من التعامل بجدية مع الجماعات الإرهابية ونزع السلاح منها، بالإضافة إلى وحدة الأراضي السورية، حتى لا يتسبب ذلك في تجزئة مشكلة سوريا، وصولا إلى إعادة إعمار ما دمرته الحرب في سوريا».

والواضح الآن أن مصر التي رفضت المشاركة في عدوان «عاصفة الحزم» على الشعب اليمني، تبتعد يوماً بعد يوم عن السعودية ومحور البلدان الخليجية المتورطة في المذبحة المفتوحة ضد اليمنيين اللذين تعاملا بغطرسة لا قِبَلَ للوطنية المصرية بها، لا بل وتتجه القاهرة، انطلاقاً من حماه، الى مواجهة محتملة معهما عبر الساحة السورية، وهو أحد أبعاد الانخراط المصري في سوريا، حتى ولو بقي في حدوده العسكرية الرمزية في قاعدة حماه، والتي لن تكون كاسرة للتوازنات الميدانية، لكنها ستظل مشحونة برسائل سياسية وجيواستراتيجية مهمة، إذ يوفر تفاهم الحدّ الأدنى السوري – المصري مجدداً، لو تطور، استرداد حجر الزاوية التاريخي في النظام الإقليمي العربي قبل انهياره في العام 2001 عندما استسلمت عواصم العرب الكبرى أمام ابتزاز الولايات المتحدة لها بعد هجمات أيلول في نيويورك، واندثر تماما بعد الهجوم الأميركي على العراق عام 2003. والأهم أن المصريين، ومن دون المبالغة في حجم انخراطهم وتأثيرهم على المسار العسكري، يتيحون لدمشق مع تحليق 18 طياراً عربياً مصرياً في سماء الشمال السوري، وفي مواجهة تحالف تركي سعودي قطري، ومجموعات سلفية إرهابية، سقفاً عربياً ضرورياً، ومهماً، لصراع شهد استقطاباً مذهبياً حاداً مع انخراط إيران في الساحات السورية والعراقية. ويبدو أن أكبر كتلة سنية عربية تتجه الى تصحيح وجهة الصراع بانحيازها الى دمشق، والى إحداث توازن عربي مع تعاظم الوجود الإيراني والروسي في سوريا. ومن الواضح أن الانخراط المصري بغض النظر عن حجمه يعني أن سوريا خط عربي مصري أحمر، وأنه لا يزال لمصر دور إقليمي، في مجالها الشامي، وأنها مع طياريها وقواتها الخاصة، ربما غداً، طرف في المعركة من الآن فصاعداً حول سوريا.

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