Egypt Continues Military Operations In Sinai Amid Reports Of Israeli Backing

Major assault launched against IS in Egypt

Major assault launched against IS in Egypt

Earlier on Sunday, the Egyptian army announced that it killed at least 16 militants and arrested four suspects in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula since the major operation started.

On the ground, special forces, working with police, conducted raids inside cities in Sinai to seize militants, military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said. It covers north and central Sinai, the Nile Delta and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.

On Friday, the Egyptian army launched a large-scale military operation aimed to eliminate terrorism in Egypt's troubled Sinai region.

Relations between Egypt and Israel have improved dramatically since the army ousted Islamist Mohamed Morsi from the presidency in July, 2013.

Most of the terror attacks were carried out by the so-called Wilayat Sinai (Sinai state or province), a Sinai-based group affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) regional terrorist group.

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In remarks to "Ten new" talk show on TEN channel on Friday evening, Radi said that "Sinai 2018 is a result of a series of military efforts and investigations since 2013, and particularly after the Rawdah Mosque attack", which occurred on November 24, 2017 and claimed lives of more than 300 people in North Sinai.

It also discovered and destroyed an explosives-making laboratory and a communications centre, as well as six cannabis and opium fields, he said.

The group generally targets Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai but also claimed an attack on a tourist site in southern Sinai in April of previous year.

"Egypt has for decades suffered from a variety of terrorist attacks, but terrorism in recent years has taken a very unsafe turn", targeting all Egyptians, including the army and police, as well as churches, to provoke sedition between Muslims and Christians, and even mosques, the group said in its statement.

El-Sisi wrote on his official Facebook page that he was following the military operation to eradicate terrorism from Egypt with pride.

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