Report

Egyptian Security Forces Attack Tourist Convoy

Egyptian security forces attacked a tourist convoy after mistaking it for the Islamic State, Egyptian officials said Monday. Twelve Mexican tourists and accompanying Egyptians were killed in the attack and 10 others were injured and are receiving treatment. Egyptian security forces are on alert amid Islamic State violence over the weekend. Egyptian troops have been ...

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Egyptian security forces attacked a tourist convoy after mistaking it for the Islamic State, Egyptian officials said Monday. Twelve Mexican tourists and accompanying Egyptians were killed in the attack and 10 others were injured and are receiving treatment.

Egyptian security forces are on alert amid Islamic State violence over the weekend. Egyptian troops have been conducting a week-long offensive against the organization’s Egyptian affiliate, Sinai Province. On Saturday, officials said that 64 militants and one Egyptian soldier had been killed. Elsewhere in the Sinai, security officials said that militants’ mortar fire and a landmine killed one civilian and wounded four others in the town of Sheikh Zuweid.

Death Toll in Mecca Crane Collapse Grows

More than 100 people were killed by a falling crane in Mecca on Friday. The crane tipped over in a severe storm with high winds, crashing into the Grand Mosque which houses the Kaaba. More than 200 others were injured by the crane’s collapse. The accident comes two weeks before the hajj, the annual pilgrimage that is Mecca’s busiest time of year.

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Headlines

  • Muslim and Jewish worshipers clashed at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Sunday; Israeli police responded to the violence, which left 20 Palestinians injured.

 

  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has announced he will withdraw from peace talks this week with the country’s Houthi rebels unless they agree to withdraw from seized territory and lay down their captured weapons as a precondition for negotiations.

 

  • Turkish security forces have responded to increased Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) activity by implementing a curfew in parts of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the country’s Kurdish southeast, where police clashed with protesters over the weekend.

 

  • After a week of allowing refugees to enter Germany freely, Chancellor Angela Merkel is reinstituting border controls in response to the sudden influx of thousands of displaced persons, many of them Syrian and North African refugees; the government expects 1 million refugees and migrants to enter the country this year.

 

  • Lassina Zerbo, head of the U.N. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Organization, called on Iran to follow up on the recent nuclear agreement reached with the P5+1 by signing the CTBT.

Arguments and Analysis

The Doha Congress: Negotiation a Return of the Iraqi Baath Party?” (Aron Lund, Syria Comment)

“While details remain scarce, it seems clear that the Doha Congress was directly backed by the Qatari government. This was quite enough to anger Iraqi Shia politicians, many of whom subscribe to the idea that no foreign state should ever be allowed to interfere in Iraqi politics unless it fulfills the stringent requirement of also having a four-letter name that begins with I-R-A. To make matters worse, the attendees weren’t just the usual mix of Gulf-friendly Sunni tribal figures, party leaders, and elected officials. This time, the meeting included a generous sprinkling of wanted fugitives and others with links to banned militant groups that have waged war on the Iraqi government for more than a decade. According to the Qatar-funded newspaper al-Arabi al-Jadid, the three main factions invited were (1) elected Sunni Arab officials from Iraq, (2) people linked to the formerly powerful Islamist insurgent faction known as the Islamic Army, and (3) the Iraqi Baath Party. Which is probably where the real controversy starts.”

 

In Translation: Western superiority and Arab denial” (Khaled al-Dakheel, al-Hayat via The Arabist)

“These points clearly show that mockery of the West and disparagement of its superiority are a flight from reality and a shameful self-justification and excuse for an inability to succeed. It is an excuse for bigotry, religious obscurantism and sectarianism – and first and foremost, for authoritarianism. Over time, this mockery and disparagement has turned into a political and ideological mechanism for reproducing an outworn and obsolete culture that props up authoritarianism and incubates authoritarianism’s fellow henchman: sectarianism. What is unclear is how this mockery of the West and disparagement of its superiority turned into a civilizational complex that over time has become an insurmountable obstacle for the Arab themselves.”

-J. Dana Stuster

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

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