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Egypt: Will the Sinai military operation succeed?

12 February, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Mohamed El-Shahed—AFP

Egypt's Salafi Call, a group of ultra-orthodox Salafi Muslims, said it is backing Egypt's army it its battle against terrorism, two days after a major counterterrorism operation focused on Sinai was launched.

The footage highlights the Egyptian military's top-of-the-line weaponry, including French Rafale fighters, US F-16 fighter-bombers, US Apache attack helicopters, a modern EADS transport aircraft, the Casa C-295, and US twin-rotored Chinook helicopters.

Egypt's air force pounded militant targets in northern and central Sinai early on Saturday, the military said, the second day of an assault to try and crush an insurgency that has killed hundreds of people since 2013.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi - who is seeking re-election next month - pledged in November to wipe out terrorist elements "within three months" after militants killed more than 300 people at a mosque in the village of Al Rawdah, in the troubled northern sector of the peninsula near Bir El Abd town.

The military has launched security campaigns in the North Sinai area, in which some terrorists are based.

Four militants and 30 suspects were arrested, it adds.

Egypt is quietly carrying out the operation with cooperation from Israel.

The operation will also target militants in the Nile Delta and in western Egypt. Members of the armed forces are barred by law from expressing political opinions in Egypt. Konsowa said he had submitted his resignation to the army in 2014 and it was denied.

The New York Times says Israeli warplanes have carried out covert air strikes in Egypt with the Egyptian president's approval.

On Friday, the army and naval forces began a military operation named "Full-Scale Operation in Sinai 2018" against terrorists in Sinai affiliated to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group (previously known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis), Military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai announced.

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