An Egyptian military vehicle is seen on the highway in northern Sinai, Egypt, in this May 25, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih/Files An Egyptian military vehicle is seen on the highway in northern Sinai, Egypt, in this May 25, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih/Files

‘Sinai 2018’ Military Operation hit int’l, regional media headlines

Fri, Feb. 9, 2018
CAIRO – 9 February 2018: The Armed Forces launch of a comprehensive counter-terrorism operation on Friday made the headlines of major international and regional media outlets.

Under the title of "The Egyptian army declares a security state of the maximum alert,” CNN Arabic published earlier on Friday the statement put out by Army Spokesperson Tamer el-Refae regarding the wide-ranging operation that is aimed at tightening the state’s control of the “Strategic directions,” along with the video footage of the operation broadcasted on official TV channel 1.

Additionally, Russia Today said that the statement of the armed forces on the Military Operation that was announced against the terrorist elements and ostensibly targets the border crossing ports.

Spanish El-Mundo reported that the military offensive follows the three-month ultimatum given by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to the Armed Forces to obliterate terrorist elements across Egypt, while the French Express mentioned that the ongoing operation is deemed to be the second largest military offensive to be carried out by the armed forces since the similar operation in 2015, which was dubbed “The Martyr's Right” and is believed to have killed around 50 terrorists.

“Egypt on Friday launched a major security operation involving the army and police against ‘terrorist and criminal elements and organizations’ across the country,” Reuters reported, while Sputnik said that the operation comes as part of Egypt’s long standing crack down on the jihadist insurgency prevalent in Sinai since the ousting of ex-Muslim brotherhood-affiliated president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The Egyptian army announced on Friday that it had launched a "comprehensive counter-terrorist plan" in the north of the country, Central Sinai and areas of the Egyptian Delta and the desert west of the Nile Valley.

Along with the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) various Khaliji and Arab media outlets spread the statement of the military action named “Sinai 2018”, including Saudi Arabian Al-Watan, Algerian Al-Nahar, Kuwaiti Al-Anbaa and Al-Arabiya.

The video statement number (1) posted on army spokesperson Tamer el-Refai's Facebook page said the intensified military operation “Sinai 2018” against extremists comes "within the framework of the mandate by Egypt's Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, to the General Command of the Armed Forces and ministry of interior, to coordinate with all the country’s institutions to confront terrorism and all other related operations by extremists."

One day earlier, hospitals in the regions affected were put on alert in preparation for any medical evacuations. Additional troops also poured into the al Arish border city and the thinly-populated Sinai.

During his speech on National Police Day, President Sisi paid tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty while fighting terrorism for the sake of protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the nation, and he pledged to take revenge for the martyrs’ deaths.

Since the ousting of ex-Muslim brotherhood- affiliated President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has been witnessing growing waves of extremism washing over society and spawning numerous deadly attacks, among these attacks was the terrorist attack that hit Al-Rawdah Mosque and left more than 302 people attending Friday prayers congregates dead in late November.

A month earlier, The Interior Ministry announced that 16 security officers were killed during clashes with militants in Wahat in the Western Desert; the clashes also led to the killing of 15 militants.
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