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Crisis: Egypt May Stop Warships Headed for Syria at Suez Canal

The current Egyptian leadership may close the Suez Canal to warships in an effort to block a western attack on Assad's Syria
Hassan Shahin, spokesperson for the Egyptian anti-Islamist Tamarod movement.

Hassan Shahin, spokesperson for the Egyptian anti-Islamist Tamarod movement.
Photo Credit: Ahram

The leading anti-Muslim Brotherhood group in Egypt, the Tamarod (Rebellion), announced it will prevent military action threatened by the West against Syria, from using the Egyptian-controlled Suez Canal.

And the Suez Canal, of course, is the route through which U.S., British and other warships will need to pass for any non-air or land-based military strike against Syria.

In a Middle East for which most observers need an electronic score card that can update shifting alliances, a faction with a strong influence over the current government in control in Egypt is insisting that any threatened western assaults against Syria be blocked.

“Supporting the Arab Syrian army is a national duty,” Hassan Shahin, the Tamarod spokesperson wrote, according to Gulf News. “The Arab people have to rebel after unmasking the plot of the Free (Syrian) Army and its backers among the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies from the militant groups,” Shahin wrote.

Egypt’s current foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, insisted that the only way to proceed regarding Syria is for there to be a political solution. Fahmy firmly opposes any military intervention.

Back when Mohamad Morsi was in power in Egypt, all of three months ago, the Egyptian government had turned on the Syrian regime,  and ordered the closure of the Syrian embassy in Cairo. Muslim Brotherhood members are among those currently fighting the Assad government.

But now anti-Islamists are in, the Muslim Brotherhood is out in Egypt, and the Syrian government is again in favor.

What that will mean in practice is that not only will the west not be able to count on assistance from the largest Muslim country in the region, but that it may find active resistance against any outside military action against Assad.

Earlier this week British naval vessels as well as American warships were either already in the area or being readied to move into the area as the contemplated response to Syrian use of chemical weapons is prepared.

“Allowing the use of chemical weapons on a significant scale to take place without a response would present a significant challenge to, threat to the United States’ national security,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.  Those words will be used to justify a U.S. military response without the president having to seek approval from congress.

The Tamarod’s website quoted its spokesperson Hassan Shahin as saying that Egypt should take a firm stance against the anticipated U.S. and allies’ military strike against Syria.

“We should shut the Suez Canal before destroyers, machinery or oil vessels pass to strike Syria,” Shahin wrote, according to the Egypt Independent.

EGYPT-TURKEY RELATIONS HAVE ALSO REVERSED POST-MORSI

The second wave revolution in Egypt also dramatically altered that country’s relationship with Turkey.  Now the strong alliance between the two countries which had blossomed under Morsi, is instead antagonistic. And, not surprisingly, Turkey is being watched as a potential military front against Assad.  Turkey shares a large border with Syria.

 

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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32 Responses to “Crisis: Egypt May Stop Warships Headed for Syria at Suez Canal”

  1. Steven M Kass says:

    Looks like the beginning of the end.

  2. Looks like the beginning of the end.

  3. Looks like the beginning of the end.

  4. Samuel Ramos says:

    We don’t need warships to blast Syria further into the stone age!

  5. Samuel Ramos says:

    We don’t need warships to blast Syria further into the stone age!

  6. Samuel Ramos says:

    We don’t need warships to blast Syria further into the stone age!

  7. miamaiasharpy says:

    LoriLMarcus Check out this interview with Conservatives MP on tomorrow’s vote on #Assad & #Syria http://t.co/269Bz7oRGs

  8. John Keytack says:

    They would be doing the U.S. a favor.

  9. John Keytack says:

    They would be doing the U.S. a favor.

  10. Redwood397 says:

    LoriLMarcus CiFWatch Don t bet on it!

  11. benisrael says:

    That’s what Obama wanted in his propaganda campaign – an excuse not to go to war. I don’t know of any Navy that broadcasts media alerts when going to war – a taskforce’s position and route are usually kept secret, but not in the leaking Obama Administration.

  12. Richard Sandler says:

    nonsense…

  13. Please heed this warning!

  14. Edward Lobel says:

    benisrael The American people do not want to go to war!
    Just because you want to go to war, does not make it correct!  Further, if you really knew anything about President Obama you would understand that he is not afraid to go to war, but unlike you and the past administration (cheney/bush) there needs to be a good reason to risk American lives.  I personally do not have the answer in this case. While I like a good war, and love to see our forces bombing the hell out of the enemy, I’m not certain which side in Syria is the good side. Defending the rebels may be aiding al quida and defending the government may be defending a despot.  It’s a real tough call.  Besides, it costs a lot of money to go to war and since you are an idiot conservative republican and anti Obama racist, I am surprised that you seem to be calling for an expensive war, especially one that might not be in the best interest of the United States.

  15. CTBtweets says:

    “…And the Suez Canal, of course, is the route through which U.S., British and other warships will need to pass for any non-air or land-based military strike against Syria…”
    Someone needs a geography lesson the US and UK does not require transit via the Suez Canal to attack Syria.  For the record I was there in 1975 when the US cleared the Suez Canal of mines to reopen it after its closure following the Six Day War of 1967.

  16. The Egyptian have to look their future, this last two years of much stress, poverty, killings must finish and not put Egypt in much danger closing the Suez Canal, it is enough for the egyptian.

  17. They closed the Suez Canal to ALL US ships yesterday. They aren't going to allow more al-Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood supporters near them.

  18. Alan Kardon says:

    Please tell me how is Egypt going to stop the warships?

  19. Eva Feld says:

    Aren't these warships a bit big for the Suez Canal? Egypt needs the cash to continue the clash, stop war ships? Pure cash flowing into the coffers? Reality check is needed here.

  20. A prospected strike at Damascus is too unpredicted. There are too many vile players at the scene. And Obama isn’t the man to clear things up. When the fool at a video-take utters that his father (born 1936) participated in WWII there’s something wrong in the upper storey.

  21. the arabs have to come to the plight of their fellows.

  22. He can't even subtract? Or were five year old conscripted?

  23. benisrael says:

    Edward Lobel benisrael I happen to agree with you – I think it crass stupidity to attack Syria or even to send arms.  But it is your American President that keeps on setting “red lines”, talking about tough responses and then doing nothing.  Just look at the mess Egypt is in after the administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and lets not forget the mess in Iraq, so much for American democracy.  You are a typical American that has to box everyone with a different point of view as a racist and unfortunately I see just as many racists in the democrat ranks, but I’m not an American.  I am an Australian and would put my politics as social democrat centrist.

  24. Dixiea Grey says:

    All these countries want to stop the US with US equipment? Do they really think the US gave them better war toys than what they already have? Maybe everyone should just shut down Saudi power because they seem to have a spoon stirring in everybody's soup. The King even obama bowed to… Makes me sick.

  25. Dixiea Grey says:

    All these countries want to stop the US with US equipment? Do they really think the US gave them better war toys than what they already have? Maybe everyone should just shut down Saudi power because they seem to have a spoon stirring in everybody's soup. The King even obama bowed to… Makes me sick.

  26. Dixiea Grey says:

    Obama tells the boats to go or stop, but he doesn't drive them.

  27. Dixiea Grey says:

    I worry for my friends in Egypt … Somebody needs to put that little noisy donkey in his stall with all his stupid braying. He also bows to Saudi.

  28. DixieaGrey says:

    Edward Lobel benisrael     Extremists Muslims, an offshoot al Qaeda is killing FSA  and regime’s soldiers,also Christians  and Muslims. There are 3 parties. FSA, extremist and Assad’s regime. The people are being killed off and the FSA is compiled of Syrian citizens, but the extremist are always infiltrating them and killing their officers…. so the citizens are fighting two enemies.  obama is supposed to be financing the FSA, but Saudi is involved also and it’s questionable what the end game plan is. I’m afraid that the Syrians will not be saved but will be deceived and overtaken by Saudi through the extremists .And who obama is serving is always a mystery.

  29. CTBtweets says:

    Obama is not competent enough to serve himself let alone the U.S. or the Syrian people.  But if I had to bet on the inside track I’d say he’s looking out for the Muslim Brotherhood.

  30. cosmodinowitz42 says:

    It is not enough that we keep giving various types of aid to Egypt, now they want to shut the Suez against us going through. With friends like that who needs enemies?

  31. Yudha Aditya says:

    C'mon what do you think US and British will attack Syria from Suez canals, he is Bull****ing to be sure…hey Tamarood you must be congratulated because your Pharaoh will bring back Poverty…yeah.

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