With the African Cup of Nations 2019 kicking off mere days after former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s death, many are concerned about the security situation in the region. Egypt, given its politically unstable environment and its highly concentrated big sporting event of the year, is a considerably risky place to be in right now. In this blog, we will go over why crowded places are an attractive target for terrorists and insurgency groups.
The clashes began on the 3rd of May, 2019 after two Israeli soldiers were injured and four Palestinians were killed during the weekly protests at the Gaza-Israel border. The clashes entailed hundreds of rockets being launched from Gaza and numerous more targeted by Israeli Forces within the Gaza Strip. Israel also increased its military presence near the border in response. Eventually a ceasefire agreement went into effect on May 6th, 2019. The exchanges of fire are outlined in greater detail below:
Friday, 3rd of May
On September 17, 2018, Russian and Turkish presidents agreed to create a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib along the line of contact between the Syrian government forces and the armed opposition. The agreement fell apart following a chemical attack targeting Aleppo and reigniting clashes between Turkish-backed rebel forces in Idlib and the Syrian Army supported by Russian forces.
Idlib Chemical attack. (Nov. 24, 2018)
On Friday, Nov 2, 2018, Islamist gunmen killed at least seven Coptic Christian pilgrims and wounded at least sixteen in Egypt. Bringing an almost one year of calm to an end, the attack occurred as two buses carrying pilgrims left the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, 85 miles south of Cairo, in Egypt’s Western Desert.
On Saturday, August 11th, 2018, four members of the Jordanian Security Forces (JSF) were killed and at least 20 civilians were injured during a raid in the Jordanian town of Salt 30 km (18 miles) west of Amman. This came a day after a police officer was killed in a vehicle explosion that targeted a police patrol stationed in the predominantly Christian town of Al-Fahis 6.03 km SE as-Salt where security forces were deployed to guard the town’s annual music festival. The bomb which was planted at the location of the incident was homemade the interior ministry reported.
On Tuesday July 25th, an attack, carried out by Houthi Rebels targeting a Saudi oil tanker West of Hodeidah port city, was thwarted by the Western-backed Arab coalition forces. The Red Sea port of Hodeidah sits on the strategic passageway of the Bab el-Mandeb strait but currently lies under the control of Houthi rebel forces as they are clashing with Saudi and Emirati military forces for control of the city. The Saudi-led intervention has marked its third year since it first began following the Houthi takeover of the capital Sana’a in 2015.