An excerpt from, "Egypt: Preparing The Repression" by b, Moon of Alabama, July 24:
For the military the Muslim Brotherhood protests in Cairo and the threat from the Sinai belong together. It is looking for ways to harshly clamp down on both.
The military chief General Al-Sisi has now called for large demonstrations to support a crack down:
"I urge the people to take to the streets this coming Friday to prove their will and give me, the army and police, a mandate to confront possible violence and terrorism."The military promised to protect the protests. The Muslim Brotherhood swallowed the bait:
The Muslim Brotherhood and other supporters of Mr Morsi say they will go ahead with their own rallies on Friday, despite General Sisi's statement. Senior Brotherhood figure Mohamed el-Beltagy said Gen Sisi was "calling for a civil war... to protect this military coup".The Tamarod movement which coordinated the protest in June will take part in the protests Al-Sisi called for. The Salafi Nour Party, again playing smarter than the Brotherhood, called on all Egyptians not to protest on Friday.
II. FSA Terrorists Rejoin Assad's Fold.
An excerpt from, "Syrian rebels defect to government" by Ruth Sherlock, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 24:
Hundreds of men who took up arms against President Bashar al-Assad are defecting back to the government side.
Disillusioned by the Islamist twist that the "revolution" in Syria has taken, exhausted after more than two years of conflict and feeling that they are losing, growing numbers of rebels are signing up to a negotiated amnesty offered by the Assad regime.
At the same time, the families of retreating fighters have begun quietly moving back to government-controlled territory, seen as a safer place to live as the regime continues its intense military push against rebel-held areas.
"I used to fight for revolution, but now I think we have lost what we were fighting for," said Mohammed, a moderate Muslim rebel from the northern town of Raqqa who declined to give his last name. "Now extremists control my town. My family has moved back to the government side because our town is too unsafe. Assad is terrible, but the alternative is worse."
The prevalence of extremist Islamist groups in rebel-held areas, particularly in the north, has caused some opposition fighters to "give up" on their cause.
III. USraeli-Backed Al-Qaeda Holds 200 Kurds As Hostages, Refuses To Let Them Go Even After Their Commander Was Released.
An excerpt from, "200 Kurds Held Hostage by Al-Qaeda" by Guardian Express, July 23:
The Russian Foreign Ministry is claiming that approximately 200 Kurdish men, women, and children continue to be held hostage by al-Qaeda extremists in the towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain, along the Syrian-Turkish border.Also, read, "Russia: Al-Qaeda-linked extremists hold 200 Kurdish civilians hostage as ‘live shield’ in Syria" (Russia Today, July 23).
“In these areas, there has long been confrontation between the troops of the international extremists affiliated with al-Qaeda and local Kurdish militias who stood up to protect their homes from attacks by radical Islamists,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website.
Syrian Kurd fighters captured a rebel leader, or emir, identified as Abu Musab. In response, Al-Qaeda extremists abducted 500 civilians, including woman and children.
“They started to kill innocent people by cutting off their heads,” the statement read. “Kurds had to free Abu Musab in exchange for an agreement to release hostages.”
Although the Kurds agreed to release Abu Musab, and free the hostages, some 200 remain in control of rebel al-Qaeda forces.