Report: Israel steps up attacks on ISIS in Sinai

Israel has significantly stepped up its operations against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula.

By: World Israel News Staff

The IDF has carried out multiple strikes in recent weeks against the Islamic State’s (ISIS) affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, the Arabic language Al-Araby Al-Jadid reported on Monday.

According to the report, the IDF attacked vehicles, tunnels and structures used by Islamic terrorists in northern Sinai.

The report, quoting a “confirmed source in the field” and local “tribal sources,” noted that while the attacks are not a new phenomenon, their scope has increased significantly.

The majority of the targets were in the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Suwaid, which have seen an intensive incursion of Israeli drone aircraft over recent weeks, the report said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly pledged not to allow ISIS to establish itself militarily on Israel’s southern border.

The Egyptian army has been struggling to contain a five-year-running Islamic insurgency in Sinai. It launched a massive operation in February against terrorists in Sinai as well as in parts of the country’s Nile Delta and the Western Desert, along the border with Libya, but with limited success.

An analyst quoted in the report said that Israel’s military actions are more successful than Egypt’s because the IDF bases it’s strategy on “accurate information, from reliable sources, the most important of which is spying on the [Islamic] organization’s communications, permanent monitoring of [ISIS’ movements by] unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as spy planes deployed on the border.”

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The New York Times reported in February that for over two years, unmarked Israeli drones, jets, and helicopters mounted a covert air campaign, completing over 100 airstrikes inside Egyptian territory in an operation approved by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The North Sinai, where the secret Israeli strikes have been carried out, remains a largely lawless mountainous desert region that has devolved into a refuge for Islamic terrorists. Among the main jihadist groups is Ansar Beit al Maqdis, a faction whose name means “the Partisans of Jerusalem” but which more recently declared itself the Sinai branch of the Islamic State (ISIS).