Leading Egyptian judge courts controversy with Aleppo-Muslim Brotherhood link

Leading Egyptian judge courts controversy with Aleppo-Muslim Brotherhood link
Tahani al-Gabali, a controversial Egyptian judge, has blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the Syrian regime's bombing of Aleppo which left 250 people dead in just over a week.
3 min read
03 May, 2016
Many supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood also sympathise with Syrian revolutionaries [AFP]

For many supporters of the Egyptian regime, most problems in the Arab world go back to the Muslim Brotherhood.

But after a week of bombing of Aleppo by Syrian regime warplanes, there were few doubts who is to blame for the carnage.

But Tahani al-Gabali, a prominent Egyptian judge and previous deputy head of the Supreme Court, has claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the recent bombings. 

"God bless the martyrs of Aleppo and avenge the Muslim Brotherhood they are the reason for what we are in," she wrote on her Facebook page according to Arabi21.

She had also clarified her position on the Syria war to hosts on Egyptian TV programme Mr Citizen.

"What is happening in Syria now is not a conflict with Bashar al-Assad, but a struggle to bring down the Syrian state, and to exile the Arab people."

President Abel Fattah al-Sisi's regime has launched a repressive campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood, after a democratically government – led by the Islamist movement – was overthrown in a military coup three years ago.

Sisi has also moved closer to Iran, and Egypt welcomed a Hizballah delegation this year, despite the militia backing Assad.

In contrast, President Mohamed Morsi relaxed visa rules to allow Syrians to flee regime bombing and war to Egypt.

Others have said his support for the rebels was more overt and arms had been sent to the opposition while Cairo blocked efforts by Iranian ships – possibly carrying arms to the Syrian regime – to visit Egyptian ports.

Much of the Syrian opposition have links to pro-democracy and moderate Islamist movements, but the Muslim Brotherhood has not taken a leading role in the rebellion.

One of the first diplomatic moves the Sisi regime made was opening up the Baathist [Syrian] embassy
Sam Charles Hamed

Although not officially allied to the Syrian regime, there has been accusations of covert collaboration between Cairo and Damascus.

Sympathy for Bashar al-Assad among many Egyptian officials, however, is no secret.

"General Samy Hassan said during the bombing of Zabadani [Western Syria] that Egypt had been shipping weapons, missiles, bomb munitions to Assad," said Sam Charles Hamed, a Scottish-Egyptian writer.

"There's been multiple images of Egyptian munitions captured by the rebels."

Egyptian media have claimed the munitions are old and were sold to Syria in the 1990s, and rebels captured the weapons.

However, opposition claims are backed by the fact that Iranian ships now regularly dock in Egyptian ports.

"One of the first diplomatic moves the Sisi regime made was opening up the Baathist [Syrian] embassy and then staging a protest in favour of Assad outside it."

Egyptian newspapers have also taken a pro-Assad line, he says.

In a country, like Syria, where press freedoms are heavily restricted, Egyptian media is likely to reflect the official narrative.