Wednesday’s papers: Eagle or no eagle?

The coverage of the military’s Operation Eagle, launched in Sinai in August to purge criminal and militant strongholds, continues to give the impression that one or more of the reporters assigned to the operation got lost.

While state newspapers list the accomplishments of the operation, independent Al-Shorouk publishes an investigation questioning all of the military’s news announcements about the campaign.

State-run newspaper Al-Gomhurriya quotes military officials as saying the operation is still ongoing with great success, having destroyed so far 104 smuggling tunnels on the border with Gaza.

An Armed Forces spokesperson denies during a press conference what he calls rumors that the operation has stopped or failed and announces that the military is gradually handing over its positions in Sinai to civilian forces following the success of the operation.

The military spokesperson reportedly says the operation has also uncovered Israeli weapons that the Israeli Defense Forces had left there following occupation of Sinai from 1967 to 1973, Al-Gomhurriya writes.

He adds that while the military is engaging in negotiations with its targets in Sinai, this only complements and does not signal the failure of the military operation.

Under the headline “What has Sinai’s eagle reaped?” Al-Shorouk talks to community leaders who deny all the official reports on the operation.

“Operation Eagle ended the day it started, and lying won’t hold up,” the paper quotes one of the community leaders as saying. The locals reportedly tell the paper that the operation has targeted people who are not related to the terrorist attacks in Sinai and that the operation has killed five targets, as opposed to the dozens announced by the military.

In other military news, the commemoration of the 6 October War starting this week shows that the 1973 war will be remembered differently now that Mubarak is no longer in charge.

While under Mubarak rule, the celebrations focused only on the initial air strike that he led, today’s papers shed light on other, less celebrated figures and battles of the war.

Al-Gomhurriya profiles Saad Eddin al-Shazly, who was the military chief of staff at the time of the war. After a falling out with Sadat during the course of the war, Shazly was marginalized by the former regime and his role in the war completely ignored.

Al-Gomhurriya presents Shazly’s role in the war under the title “Was the October war only an air strike? Why do they hate and ignore the mastermind behind the great victory?”

The paper also interviews other war veterans and profiles the lives of some of the casualties.

The Freedom and Justice Newspaper, mouthpiece of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated party, reports on the ongoing elections for the party’s new president. The paper reports that there are now four candidates in the race after former People’s Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatny decided to run; other candidates include Essam al-Erian, the party’s vice president, and Sabah al-Saqqary, the party’s women’s committee coordinator in east Cairo.

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party

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