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Elsewhere: Israeli/Egyptian unrest, China, and the Iran Deal


Six soldiers, including four American peacekeepers, were wounded in two explosions caused by improvised explosive devices in northeast Sinai on Thursday.

Pentagon official Captain Jeff Davis said that the peacekeepers were evacuated “by air to a medical facility where all are receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.”

The soldiers were part of the Multinational Force and Observers, an international peacekeeping force that oversees the terms of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The MFO generally operates in and around the Sinai peninsula, an area under Egyptian control that has long served as a buffer between the two nations.

Following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, the Sinai has increasingly become a hideout and breeding ground for jihadist groups, many of which are also opposed to Israel.

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, one of the Sinai’s most prominent jihadist groups responsible for attacks in the peninsula, declared its allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in 2014, making it ISIL’s new chapter in Egypt: the Sinai Province of the Islamic State.


China held a lavish parade on Thursday commemorating the defeat of Japan in World War II, showcasing its military prowess in an unprecedented scale.

In the parade’s opening speech, President Xi Jinping honored “the Chinese people who unwaveringly fought hard and defeated aggression” from Japan.  

Present at the parade were more than 30 foreign government officials and heads of state including Russian President Vladimir Putin and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. However, many Western leaders and Japan’s Prime Minster Shinzo Abe did not attend.

President Jinping also announced that the People’s Liberation Army, the world’s largest military which stands at 2.3 million members, would be cut by 300,000 personnel by 2017.

The parade showcased over 10,000 troops and hundreds of aircraft, tanks and missiles. Despite this display, President Jinping reassured the global community that China was committed to peace. “No matter how strong it becomes, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any nation,” he said.

The United States

The White House secured the support of Democratic Senators Chris Coons of Delaware, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly referred to as the “Iran Deal.”

Senator Mikulski’s announcement on Wednesday ensured President Barack Obama that his veto of a Republican resolution of disapproval cannot be rejected in the Senate.

On Friday, Senate Democrat Michael Bennet also announced his support for the administration’s Iran Deal.

However, moments after Senator Bennet’s announcement, Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced in an opinion piece published by the Washington Post that he would not support the deal.

Senator Cardin is the third Senate Democrat to oppose the deal. Senator Cardin, who is typically counted as a reliable vote for the administration, said, “This should be a vote of conscience, not a litmus test of party loyalty or political acumen.”

If both the House of Representatives and the Senate pass a resolution of disapproval, President Obama has promised to veto it, which is why securing votes has become such a priority for his administration.