Suez Crisis

The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War, or Second Arab-Israeli War (Arabic: أزمة السويس – العدوان الثلاثي‎ ʾAzmat al-Sūwais / al-ʿUdwān al-Thulāthī; French: Crise du canal de Suez; Hebrew: מבצע קדש‎ Mivtza' Kadesh "Operation Kadesh," or מלחמת סיני Milẖemet Sinai, "Sinai War"), was a diplomatic and military confrontation in late 1956 between Egypt on one side, and Britain, France and Israel on the other, with the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Nations playing major roles in forcing Britain, France and Israel to withdraw.

Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel, and then began to bomb Cairo. Despite the denials of the Israeli, British and French governments, evidence began to emerge that the invasion of Egypt had been planned beforehand by the three powers. Anglo-French forces withdrew before the end of the year, but Israeli forces remained until March 1957, prolonging the crisis. In April, the canal was fully reopened to shipping, but other repercussions followed.

The attack followed the President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal, after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam, which was in response to Egypt's new ties with the Soviet Union and recognizing the People's Republic of China during the height of tensions between China and Taiwan. The aims of the attack were primarily to regain Western control of the canal and to remove Nasser from power.

The three allies, especially Israel, were mainly successful in attaining their immediate military objectives, but pressure from the United States and the USSR at the United Nations and elsewhere forced them to withdraw. As a result of the outside pressure Britain and France failed in their political and strategic aims of controlling the canal and removing Nasser from power. Israel fulfilled some of its objectives, such as attaining freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran. As a result of the conflict, the UNEF would police the Egyptian–Israeli border to prevent both sides from recommencing hostilities.

Some sources contend that the Crisis began on 26 July with the nationalisation of the Canal, and that the military actions by Britain, France and Israel were their response to the Crisis.

Read more about Suez Crisis:  Background, Planning, Invasion, Casualties, Aftermath

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