Author (s): Maged Mandour
Original Link: http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/75556
On February 9, Egypt’s military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai announced the launch of the “Comprehensive Military Operation,” which aims to eliminate the country’s growing insurgency. Even though the primary focus of the operation is the Sinai Peninsula, earning it the nickname “Operation Sinai,” it also includes extensive deployment of security forces to the Western Desert and parts of the Nile Delta, as well as naval and air force patrols of the border regions.
The operation was announced following a series of high-profile attacks. In October 2017, 54 members of the security forces were killed in an ambush when they attempted to raid a militant hideout as part of a botched counterterror operation in the Western Desert. This was followed in November 2017 by an attack by Wilayat Sinai, the local affiliate of the Islamic State (IS), on a Sufi mosque, killing 305 worshipers in the deadliest terror attack in Egyptian history. In a move that would presage the current operation, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi issued a directive on November 29 ordering the armed forces to restore order in Sinai within a period of three months….
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