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Daily News Analysis

Sisi regime heading for Syrian-style crisis

Crescent International

News emerging from Egypt clearly point to the fact that the country is heading towards a socio-political explosion.

While discussing the situation in Egypt, to focus only on the question of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi regime’s collapse misses the point.

Instead, serious observers should carefully examine key socio-political variables and forces that will come to the fore once the current autocratic regime implodes.

One must not get caught off guard and misread developments in Egypt as most observers did in Syria in 2011.

One of the key backgrounders of the situation in Egypt is that it is founded upon internal treachery.

The military caste ruling Egypt today comprises people who betrayed their former comrade Hosni Mubarak and toppled his regime.

This phenomenon creates paranoia and an internal distrust atmosphere within the ruling elite.

This will make the current regime less cohesive and quite disorganized when the next crisis erupts.

Also, the military brass will not be the only key player in Egypt’s implosion as it was during the post-2011 uprisings.

The Sisi regime has done away with the facade which the Egyptian military had created after it ousted Egypt’s only elected president, Mohammad Morsi in 2013.

The charade of army as the ‘servant of the people’ will simply not succeed this time as it did in 2013.

True, some people in Egypt will be manipulated to fall for the old trick but a significant number will not swallow this false narrative again.

Based on close observation of the ongoing processes, the next socio-political explosion in the country will resemble Syria rather than Egypt of 2011.

The key difference will be that western regimes and apartheid Israel will throw their backing behind the Sisi-led junta.

In fact, it can be argued that the recent massive pumping of weapons into Sisi’s regime by the west is a clear preparatory step to make sure that Egypt does not fall out of western and Israeli political control.

Decision-makers in Washington and Europe know well that there are no serious signs that the Sisi regime is preparing for a conventional war with any external power.

The only party the Sisi regime is at war with are the Egyptian people.

The west is arming the military junta for the purpose of internal suppression, not any external conflict.

The primary tool the Sisi regime uses to sustain itself in power is brute force and terror.

Unlike other illegitimate Arabian regimes that rely primarily on political gimmicks, the Sisi regime cannot afford this “luxury” due to the terrible state of economic affairs in Egypt.

Unlike 2011, there is also a mid-level intensity armed conflict inside Egypt’s borders, in the Sinai Peninsula.

While this may look like a marginal issue, when the entire country is destabilized, it will snowball into a major factor in fomenting armed conflict throughout the country.

Let us look at the broader regional picture to get a sense of what is afoot.

There are myriad armed groups in Libya, virtually under no one’s control.

They can flood into Egypt across the long porous border if a crisis were to erupt there.

Further, there are Syrian militias in Turkiye controlled by Ankara.

Their ideological affinity to the Muslim Brotherhood creates its own challenges for Egypt.

Most significantly, loss of hope among a large percentage of the Egyptian population for a political process turns Egypt into a ticking time bomb.

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