Recent weeks have seen Egypt expanding its campaign to uproot jihadist infrastructure in the Sinai Peninsula, seeking to stem a wave of violence that has targeted security forces and civilians, and which now seems to be expanding to the territory’s tourist-heavy southern areas.
Meanwhile the army-backed government has doubled down on rhetoric that not only blames the Palestinian Hamas faction for facilitating jihadism in the Sinai, but that warns the Iran-backed terror group of impending consequences.
Today Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed his sympathy to residents of the Sinai for inconvenience that has been created – and that, implicitly, will be created – by Cairo’s counterterror operations. The Palestinian M’an outlet reports that those operations may well include action in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip:
Officials told Ma’an that Egyptian reconnaissance planes had entered the Gaza Strip’s airspace and examined a number of locations in Rafah and Khan Younis to be targeted if military attacks against Egyptian troops intensify in Sinai. Egyptian aircraft could also target vehicles which travel across the border area delivering smuggled goods, sources added. More smuggling tunnels could also be destroyed, and sources highlighted that “all options are open.”
[Photo: Marius Arnesen / Wiki Commons]