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Egypt: U.S. strategic ties on hold

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Egypt: Strategic dialogue with U.S. on hold, pending ‘normal relations’

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.  /AP

Special to CAIRO — The United States has halted its strategic dialogue with Egypt. Officials said the administration of President Barack Obama has suspended what had been a vibrant strategic dialogue with Egypt. They said the dialogue included Egypt’s military and intelligence community. “We do not hold the strategic dialogue anymore,” Egyptian Foreign [...]

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U.S. plans ‘more prominent’ role for United Arab Emirates amid tensions with Saudis

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.  /AP/Susan Walsh

Special to ABU DHABI — The United States has intensified a defense dialogue with the United Arab Emirates. Officials said the administration of President Barack Obama was focusing on expanding defense relations with the UAE amid the U.S. rift with Saudi Arabia. The officials said Washington was considering expanding the U.S. military presence in [...]

Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence,UAE | Read More »

Egypt intel: Hamas provided Muslim Brotherhood safe haven in Gaza to plan terror ops

Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim

Special to CAIRO — Egypt has determined that Muslim Brotherhood fighters were receiving weapons and combat training in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Officials said the Egyptian intelligence community was tracing the flow of Brotherhood members to and from the Gaza Strip. The officials said the Brotherhood was granted at least two facilities in southern [...]

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Israeli military plans to shield Christian Arab recruits from Muslim pressure

An Israeli recruit on his first day of military service gets a vaccine injection (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Read more: In Arab Israel, a battle over Christian conscription | The Times of Israel

Special to TEL AVIV — Israel’s military  has been authorized to launch the recruitment of thousands of Christian Arabs. Until now, Christians volunteered for the military in a move that exposed them to a backlash by their Muslim neighbors. “Under these new arrangements, they will no longer have to submit their own enlistment request [...]

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U.S., Yemen attacks kill 55 ‘leading and dangerous elements’ of Al Qaida

Yemenis look at a pickup truck after it was allegedly hit by a U.S. drone in Yemen's al-Bayda province on April 19.  /EPA

Special to CAIRO — Yemen and the United States have launched intense air strikes on Al Qaida. Officials said up to 55 Al Qaida fighters were killed in U.S. and Yemeni air strikes on insurgency camps in the Arab state. The officials said several Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula camps, which contained members [...]

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Syrian attacks on rebels near Golan Heights puts Israel on alert


Special to NICOSIA — The Syrian military has launched air and artillery strikes on rebel strongholds in the Golan Heights, shared with Israel. The Syrian assault has sparked an alert in Israel. The Israel Air Force is said to have intensified operations to block any intrusion by Syrian aircraft. Opposition sources said the military [...]

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Al Qaida militia establishes base in Gaza, trains Palestinians for ops in Iraq, Syria

ISIL fighters in Raqqa, Syria. /AP

Special to NICOSIA — Al Qaida’s leading militia in the Levant has claimed a presence in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said it established bases in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in 2014. In a statement ISIL, deemed the most powerful Sunni Islamist force in the region, was training [...]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Terrorism,Top Stories | Read More »

Abbas threatens to bail on the Palestinian Authority

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. /Issam Rimawi/Flash90

Special to RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority could decide to disband the regime in the West Bank. Officials said the PA leadership has been under pressure to end governing the Palestinian areas of the West Bank. The officials said elements within the Palestine Liberation Organization argued that such a move would force international intervention [...]

Posted in BB Middle East,Exclusives,Mideast,Palestinian Authority,Top Stories | Read More »

UN: Syria has removed 80 percent of chemical weapons arsenal

Sigrid Kaag.  /Xinhua

Special to LONDON — Syria was said to have removed most of its chemical weapons arsenal. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has determined that the regime of President Bashar Assad destroyed or removed up to 80 percent of Syria’s CW arsenal. Officials said the regime accelerated the removal process in cooperation [...]

Posted in BB Top Story,Exclusives,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Deal’s off: Kurdish insurgents streaming back into Turkey

PKK fighters.  /DHA photo

Special to ANKARA — Turkey’s intelligence community has determined that Kurdish insurgents returned from their bases in Iraq and Syria. In a report by two intelligence agencies, the Kurdish Workers Party was said to have ended its withdrawal from Turkey, launched in 2013. The report, titled “Solution Process/PKK Report,” said the insurgency group has [...]

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