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Monday, 5 February 2018

Egyptian Armed Forces dismiss NYT report on Israeli air strikes in North Sinai

Military denies working with Israel in the Sinai to stop Daesh: Egypt’s Armed Forces issued a statement yesterday denying claims made in a New York Times’ piece suggesting that Israel has been launching covert airstrikes against Islamic militants in the Sinai with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s permission. The statement maintained that Egyptian security forces “are fighting terrorism in North SInai on their own,” according to Ahram Online.

Airstrikes alone are not enough to stop Daesh operatives in northern Sinai, whether or not Israel is helping Egypt, Anshel Pfeffer writes for Haaretz. He says that “it took a ground force to finally rout [Daesh] from its main strongholds“ in Iraq and Syria, arguing that Egyptian security forces will not be able to neutralize the threat otherwise. Meanwhile, Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz tells Ynet News that while he can’t confirm or deny the claims, “Israel and Egypt share a deep interest to prevent a [Daesh] entrenchment in Sinai,” especially after flocks of fighters fled to Egypt following their defeat in Iraq and Syria.

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