End Times Watch 160
Islamists regimes threaten Western naval operations in Mediterrane
End times watch 160 - TEL AVIV — Islamist states in the Middle East are expanding their presence in the Mediterranean, according to the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. The center identified Egypt, Libya, Lebanon and Turkey as having all been dominated by anti-Western Islamic movements.
"A review of the political dynamics in the states on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean generates great concern about the ability of the West to continue enjoying unrestricted access to this area," said the report, "The Threats in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea."
Authored by center director Efraim Inbar, the report warned that Israel could be harmed by the expanding Islamist presence in the Mediterranean. He said Israel and Greece are the only pro-Western navies in the region.
Egypt was cited as a key concern in the Mediterranean because under Muslim Brotherhood rule, it could block access to the Suez Canal while providing services to Iran.
"Significantly, Egypt has already opened the Suez Canal to military vessels belonging to the Islamic republic of Iran," the report said. "This enhances the ability of radical Iran to supply its Mediterranean allies, such as the current regime in Syria, Hizbullah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza. Moreover, it has enhanced Iranian access to Muslim states in the Balkans, namely Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo, thereby increasing its influence in that part of the Mediterranean."
The report said Islamic militias could use makeshift ports in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to hamper pro-Western naval operations. Inbar said the Sinai could become an Islamic no-man's land similar to Somalia, and threaten merchant ships to and from the Suez Canal. End times watch.
Turkey is also seen as a danger to Israeli and Western shipping in the Mediterranean. Turkey, a key supporter of Hamas, is threatening to use its navy against both Israel and the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkey "has over the past few years shifted away from a pro-Western foreign policy, instead adopting a radical stance on many issues," the report said. "Moreover, Turkey has displayed huge ambitions for leadership in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean. A combination of Turkish nationalism, neo-Ottoman nostalgia and Islamic-Jihadist impulses has pushed Turkey into an aggressive stance on several regional issues."
Inbar expects the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip to try to establish a naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean. The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah in Lebanon has also been building a naval force in the region.
"Hizbullah has already laid claim to some of the huge Israeli-found gas fields in the sea that could diminish Europe's energy dependence on Russia and Turkey," the report said.End times watch.
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