Egypt is waging a long and bloody campaign against ISIS in the Sinai.
Egyptian Chief of Military Intelligence Mohammed Farag El-Shahat said the Egyptian army has killed nearly 500 terrorists in the Sinai in military operations since 2015, Ahram Online reported Friday.
Egypt’s security forces have been battling a decade-long Islamist insurgency, which intensified since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi in July, 2013.
The insurgency has been mainly concentrated in the north of the Sinai.
Terror attacks have left hundreds of police and army personnel dead, and the Egyptian army launched a counter-terrorism campaign code-named “the martyr’s right”.
El-Shahat accused the banned Muslim Brotherhood of forming an alliance with the Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Egypt, a move aimed at putting the Brotherhood back in power.
El-Shahat cited, as proof of this alliance, a statement made in early July 2013 by Mohamed El-Beltagy, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure who is now in prison after being convicted of various criminal offenses. El-Betlagy had said that terrorism in Sinai would stop at the moment Morsi returned to power.
In December 2013, Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, after authorities blamed the group for a number of deadly attacks against security forces in the aftermath of Morsi’s ousting.
The Egyptian military intelligence chief said that the state of instability in many countries in the region contributed to the rise of terrorist attacks in Egypt during this period.
In the meantime, the Egyptian army is also combating Hamas’ presence in the area. Hamas is known to work with the local ISIS affiliate.
Furthermore, the Egyptian army has launched a broad campaign to destroy Hamas’ tunnels running from Sinai into Gaza. The tunnels are used to smuggle goods as well as terrorists and weapons.
By: World Israel News Staff