July 20, 2013

Reports On The Growing Conflict In Sinai, Gains By Kurds In Syria, And Post-Coup Developments In Egypt

I. The Growing Conflict In Sinai.

1. An excerpt from, "Concerns over Sinai becoming new terrorist base," by Andreas Gorzewski, Deutsche Welle, July 19, 2013:
If the security situation is tense in Cairo and Alexandria, it's a disaster on the Sinai Peninsula. Since President Mohamed Morsi was toppled two weeks ago, militant groups have been killing members of the police, soldiers and civilians on a daily basis there. In the early hours of Thursday (18.07.2013) alone, three policemen were shot dead in separate attacks in Sinai.
2. An excerpt from, "Ten jihadists killed in North Sinai in last 48 hours," Egypt Independent, July 18, 2013:
A military source said Thursday that the armed forces, in a security operation carried out in North Sinai, have killed 10 jihadists in the past 48 hours. 
3. An excerpt from, "Sinai residents demonstrate in support of army and police," by Nouran El-Behairy, Daily News Egypt, July 19, 2013:
Residents of the Arish area in Sinai announced they are protesting on Friday night to condemn the terrorism and targeting of security personnel.

Political activist Eman Farouga said the protest would be held in front of the military intelligence building in Arish, and would demand prosecution of those who commit acts of killing and terrorism against civilians and security.
II. Gains By Kurds In Syria.

1. An excerpt from, "Ankara Worried by Kurdish Gains in Syria, Observers Say," by Henry Ridgwell, Voice of America, July 19, 2013:
2. An excerpt from, "Syrian Kurdish group aims for independent local administration," by Erika Solomon and Isabel Coles, Reuters, July 19, 2013:
The rebels oppose a separate Kurdish entity, as does their ally and neighbor Turkey, which believes the emergence of an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria could embolden home-grown PKK militants. Mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey is strategically located on the country's borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The Kurdish militias, who have allowed both Assad's and rebel forces to move through their territories, insist they are anti-Assad but do not want their region to suffer the sort of military devastation that has leveled many opposition areas across Syria.
3. An excerpt from, "Kurdish rebels issue ‘final warning’ to Turkey for reforms to improve Kurdish rights," Associated Press, July 19, 2013:
Kurdish rebels on Friday gave Turkey a “final warning” to take steps that would move forward peace talks aimed at ending a 30-year old conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The Kurdistan Workers Party, which is known as PKK and has been fighting Turkey for autonomy, did not say what it would do if its demand was not met — or if it planned to resume fighting. The warning came at a time when concerns are high over Syrian Kurdish forces taking control of areas in Syria near the border with Turkey.
III. Post-Coup Developments In Egypt.

1. An excerpt from, "Egypt Cabinet Has Women, Christians; No Islamists," by Hamza Hendawi, Time, July 16, 2013:
Egypt’s interim leader swore in a Cabinet on Tuesday that included women and Christians but no Islamists as the military-backed administration moved swiftly to formalize the new political order and present a more liberal face that is markedly at odds with the deposed president and his supporters.
2. An excerpt from, "Egypt Interim Leader Pledges to Protect Country from Chaos," Voice of America, July 18, 2013:
3. An excerpt from, "In Egypt, lonely voices warn of too much love for the military," by Gert Van Langendonck, The Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 2013:
The voices warning about the perils of the national reverence for the Egyptian military that's been held by secular-leaning activists since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 are few, and subject to threats and allegations that they're stooges for "terrorists" from former friends and allies.

But they include a number of prominent Egyptians who have fought harder than most for free speech and individual rights in the country – people who have taken principled stands against the failings of the Muslim Brotherhood, the former regime of Hosni Mubarak, and Egypt's tradition of impunity for human rights abuses committed by soldiers and policemen.