A spokesman for the Egyptian army announced that Egypt’s “largest military campaign against the terrorists in the Northern Sinai Peninsula” would continue until the whole area is “fully cleansed.”
Eyewitnesses affirmed that the army’s attacks in several areas of the Sinai are continuous, and that more new targets are attacked each and every day.
At the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, where the Egyptian military forcefully displaced local residents last week to create a buffer zone around the border. That’s in addition to more than 800 smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza that the Army has destroyed.
War Colonel Ahmed Ali said that the army has so far targeted 118 terrorist bases, as well as destroyed three weapons caches and 33 vehicles with heavy guns placed on them.
In a statement, Ali claimed that the terrorists traded fire with army forces using their heavy weapons. He said that nine terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire and nine others were detained.
The army recently began a comprehensive military campaign using heavy military equipment and Apache Helicopters for the first time in Sinai since the peace accords with Israel were signed in late 1970s.
Sinai residents confirmed to MEMO that by the start of the military operation, the Egyptian army had deactivated all communication facilities, including telephones, mobile phones and the internet. The army justified these actions by saying that shutting down communications allows their forces “strict control” over the terrorists.
Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Israeli officials saying that the Egyptian military operation in Sinai is in both Israel’s and Egypt’s interests. While the officials affirmed that Israel did not interfere in the operation, Israelis were relaxed with it.
Since the beginning of the operation, the Egyptian army has made daily announcements about the deaths and detention of terrorists, but never provides any names or other details about what it claims.
In the light of the loss of communication and the embargo on journalists from reaching the battlefield, it is difficult for anyone to confirm what the army claims. All information about the operation is announced by military spokespersons or reported by eyewitness.