On Monday, June 1967, 8, the Egyptian military commander, then Major General Saad al-Din al-Shazly, was asked to join Fayed airport the next morning to attend a meeting of all the leaders of the Sinai Front at <> a.m. in the presence of the deputy commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces, Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer.
The leadership of the Sinai Front was headed at the time by Lieutenant General Abdul Mohsen Murtaji, and was then Defense Minister Shams Badran, who is described as being Field Marshal Amer's right-hand man.
General al-Shazly, who then commanded a tank battalion in the far area of Sinai and the closest area to Palestine, was forced because of the distance to move to Fayed airport on the morning of the fifth of June by military helicopter, and when he arrived he found the leaders of the Sinai front gathered waiting for Field Marshal Amer.
Vice President too
At about the same time, at 8 a.m., Hussein al-Shafei, vice president and one of the prominent Free Officers, was on a private plane accompanied by Lieutenant General Taher Yahya, then Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq (later as prime minister) and a group of Egyptian and Iraqi ministers and military commanders to the same military airport, where the plane was supposed to land them at Fayed airport at 8.45 am.
Al-Shafei confirmed to Al Jazeera in the program Witness to the Era that the visit in itself was not of importance, but was only a protocol visit, in which the Iraqi delegation visits an Iraqi military battalion symbolically present at the military airport, and among its members was Lieutenant Faisal, son of the Iraqi President at the time, Abdul Rahman Aref.
Al-Shafei explained how on their way they came across three Israeli military planes that he and his companions initially believed were Egyptian military planes that came to protect their plane and the guard plane accompanying them, celebrating Egypt's guests.
Curiously, around the same time, at 8:30 a.m., Field Marshal Amer's plane had also set off on its way to Fayed military airport to meet with the leaders of the Sinai front.
Israel captured thousands of Egyptian soldiers in Sinai region (social media)
The attack began.
While Hussein al-Shafei's plane had just landed at Fayed airport, and Field Marshal Amer's plane was still in the air, military fighter jets began bombing all Egyptian airports, including Fayed airport, destroying 209 of the 340 Egyptian planes, according to Israeli data, not to mention destroying the runways of military airports.
The Field Marshal's plane was forced to return to Cairo, and survived the bombing in the air, while the guard plane accompanying the plane carrying Hussein al-Shafei and the Iraqi official did not suffer the same fate, as it was blown up by Israeli planes while in the air, and al-Shafei and those with him miraculously survived, as they were missed by Israeli shells.
He described Shafei – in his conversation with Al Jazeera – the details of what happened momentary, and said that the Israeli shells fell at a distance of about 50 meters from the plane, and began to flock to the door of the plane – even before the installation of the ladder – to jump out of it to escape themselves from the inevitable fate, while he was surprised that the Egyptian military planes were stacked next to the other as if prepared for the automatic altar, as he put it.
El-Shazly said that all the military leaders on the Sinai front were gathered at Fayed airport waiting for Field Marshal Amer (Al-Jazeera)
He told Lieutenant General Saad Eddin Shazly – for his part in his interview with Al Jazeera in the program "witness to the era" – that all the military leaders of the Sinai front were gathered in one building at Fayed Airport waiting for Field Marshal Amer, and were surprised by the sounds of explosions that shook the airport announcing the start of the war 67, which broke out and there is no single Egyptian commander at the head of his forces.
Had Israel focused the bombing on Fayed airport and succeeded in killing all the leaders of the Sinai front gathered in one place, along with Egypt's vice president and senior Iraqi official, and then the deputy commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces, Field Marshal Amer, this would have been a huge gain for it that it did not dream of achieving.
During his interview with Al Jazeera, Shazly stressed the need to open a comprehensive investigation to reveal the details of these successive events "strange", stressing that the outbreak of the '67 war without any military commander on the Sinai front at the head of his forces is a serious issue that had to be investigated.
Abdel Nasser learned about the timing of the war from Egypt's ambassador to the Soviet Union (social media)
Abdel Nasser knew
What is even more interesting is that the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was aware of the timing of the outbreak of the war after being informed by Egypt's ambassador to the Soviet Union, the late Murad Ghaleb, who confirmed this in his memoirs and in his interview with Al Jazeera, and the President of Yugoslavia at the time, Joseph Tito, who had a good relationship with the Egyptian president.
Nasser even told military commanders that Israel would begin its attack on June 1967, <>, and asked them to prepare for the first strike to portray Israel as the aggressor and take the necessary measures to protect Egyptian equipment and mitigate the effects of the first strike.
Despite this, the leaders of the Sinai front and senior political and military leaders gathered at Fayed airport on the morning of the attack, and the forces in Sinai were left without leadership, at a time when the military general command was supposed to take precautions to preserve the Egyptian army and not gather the leaders of the Sinai front in one place on the morning of the attack, and it had assurances from the top of the state that Israel would strike at that time.
According to Egyptian sources, it is clear that the late Egyptian president did not expect that the strike would be overwhelming in this way, and perhaps he thought that the army took precautions to mitigate the impact of the first attack, and for his part he was planning to take advantage of the Israeli aggression to achieve external and internal political gains, perhaps the most important of which is reducing the role of Field Marshal Amer, and restoring control of the army.
Abdel Nasser (right) and next to his friend and companion Field Marshal Amer (social media)
Demands for investigation
But what happened was that Israel succeeded in destroying the capabilities of the Arab armies, capturing thousands of soldiers, controlling the Sinai and the Golan, and all of Palestine, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif, in addition to destroying the aircraft and vehicles of the ring countries.
The gathering of the leaders of Egypt and Iraq on the morning of the fifth of June 1967 at Fayed Airport is one of the biggest mysteries that characterized this war, and a number of Egyptian military leaders – including Lieutenant General Saad al-Din al-Shazly – have been calling for an investigation to uncover all these mysteries, provided that the investigation also includes the mysteries that accompanied the war of 73 are also involved.
But so far no investigation has been conducted, and Israel initiated the establishment of a commission of inquiry headed by Judge Shimon Agranat after the defeat of the October 1973 war, which issued a report revealing the mistakes committed by the Israeli army during the Tenth of Ramadan War.