Category Archives: Egypt

Go Sisi! Egypt army has killed 725 terrorists over 6 months in Sinai campaign

Egypt’s offensive against violent militants in the Sinai Peninsula has resulted in the deaths of 725 terrorists, a new report by the Egyptian army claims.

According to al-Ahram, the report, which was released on Saturday, details operations spanning the period between October 25 to April 30 of last year. It specifically details February as being the most lethal month, during which 173 terrorists were killed, and January as the calmest, with 44 on the radicals reported dead.

Apart from the body count, 1,873 suspects connected to militant groups were reported detained, with most arrests, some 575 taking place in November, and the least, 158, in January.

November also saw the discovery and destruction of the most militant hideouts by security forces, with 1,023 such cases occuring in that month alone. An additional 800 havens were also reported destroyed in the period in question.

Weapons and ammunition, the latter numbering 80,927 and composed of various calibers, were also seized.

Property confiscation was also part of the offensive given the popular implementation of car bombs and hit and run tactics by militants. Cairo’s security forces had apparently seized or destroyed 591 vehicles, in addition to some 1,447 motorcycles, non of whom had license plates.

Egypt has been locked in an escalating insurgency in the Sinai since 2011, when the its military, headed by now president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, deposed the Islamist president Muhammad Morsi, cracking down on his Muslim Brotherhood cohorts and launching a broad effort to suppress any challenge to his rule.

Most of the attacks against security forces in the Sinai, and numerous bombings across the Suez in Egytp’s urban centers have been claimed or attributed to an Islamic State linked jihadist group formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and now calling itself the Sinai Province.

Egypt: Joint Arab Force to Combat ISIS, Iran Will be Ready Within Four Months

Egypt's ex-army chief and leading presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gives his first television interview since announcing his candidacy in Cairo on May 4, 2014. Sisi is expected to win the May 26-27 election easily riding on a wave of popularity after he ousted in July Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president. The 59-year-old retired field marshal, dressed in a suit and appearing composed and often smiling in what was a pre-recorded interview, is seen by supporters as a strong leader who can restore stability, but his opponents fear that might come at the cost of freedoms sought in the pro-democracy uprising three years ago. AFP PHOTO/STR

David Daoud

The proposed timeline for the establishment of a joint Arab military force is four months, revealed Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Thursday

Speaking to London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of a trip to Eritrea in East Africa, Shoukry said there were already technical crews working on the project.

Shoukry refused to divulge details from the recent meeting of Arab chiefs of staff concerning the creation of the joint force, saying only that the force would be ready in four months.

The idea of the Joint Arab Force was first introduced by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who said it was a necessity to combat the expansion of the Islamic State, which currently has strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

The rising threat of Iranian regional influence also adds urgency to the Arab countries’ plan, particularly as Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fight to take over Yemen, and the Saudi-led intervention to roll them back advances.

“The need for a unified Arab force is growing and becoming more pressing every day,” said Sisi back in February. The Egyptian president said he had received offers from both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates to help in the endeavor by sending troops.

“The challenges in the region and those facing our countries are huge … We can overcome those challenges once we are together,” said Sisi.

Last month, Shoukry said that the joint Arab force was necessary to combat the threats of extremism in the region, and that this force would undertake ”quick and effective missions” aimed at rebuffing growing threats to regional stability.

In late March, Arab foreign ministers assembled at an Arab League summit in Egypt’s Sharm Al-Sheikh adopted a draft resolution in support of the force’s creation.

The proposed force will be twice the size of NATO’s Response Force, at 40,000 men, according to an Arab League source. It will be based in Egypt, and will be led by a yet-to-be-determined Saudi officer.

The source also told Defense News that “the majority of the units will be from Egypt and Morocco, with Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Jordan also providing troops, while other countries will have smaller numbers included. The force would be made up of an air command, a naval command and a land operations command.”

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby spoke optimistically of the measures, which received broad support from Egypt, Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

“The resolution sends a clear message that Arab nations can agree on a plan to defend themselves,” Elaraby said.

Iraq and Syria – two Arab countries with very close ties to Iran – opposed the creation of a joint Arab army.