Egypt's ground troops in a full-scale offensive against militants in North and Central Sinai on Friday, February 9,2018- Phoro courtesy of the Armed Forces Spokesperson's Facebook page Egypt's ground troops in a full-scale offensive against militants in North and Central Sinai on Friday, February 9,2018- Phoro courtesy of the Armed Forces Spokesperson's Facebook page

All you need to know about Egypt's full-scale operation 'Sinai 2018'

Fri, Feb. 9, 2018
CAIRO – 9 February 2018: Days after Sisi’s pledge in the "Tale of a Homeland" conference to use brutal force when confronting terrorism in Sinai, the Egyptian Armed Forces announced on Friday morning a new major military operation dubbed "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018" to purge country from terrorism.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s vow follows years of national and international efforts by Egypt to face terrorism. Sisi has pledged several times during his speeches to preserve the country’s stability, whatever it takes.

“Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018" comes within the armed forces ongoing counter-terrorism operations in Sinai that are aimed at eliminating terrorists and Takfiri elements, and eradicating their breeding grounds and hotbeds.


Sinai, in particular, has been a staging ground for militants operating in Egypt for decades. It is also believed to be home to the Islamic State’s Egyptian branch, which has been primarily targeting Christians and security forces in the area.

On Friday, the army spokesperson Tamer el-Refai released the army statement "Communique 1 from the General Command of the Armed Forces" on state TV. It details the launch of the operation and the state of high alert raised across different governorates.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior said that the ministry is raising the state of alert and security preparedness to the maximum level nationwide, taking all precautionary measures to maintain security throughout the country, especially in light of the fierce operations conducted by police forces in coordination with the armed forces, to root out terrorism.

The security measures have been stepped up in the vicinities of national and investment projects, vital state facilities, electricity and water stations, places of worship, and tourist sites, according to the Middle East News Agency (MENA).

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Security services have been intensified and a larger number of security forces have been deployed at fixed checkpoints, February 9, 2018 - Press Photo

Security services have been intensified and a larger number of security forces have been deployed at fixed checkpoints, patrolling governorates and on internal borders.

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Security services have been intensified and a larger number of security forces have been deployed at fixed checkpoints, February 9, 2018 - Press Photo

The state television then broadcasted live footage of the comprehensive operation to combat terrorism, named "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018", in North and Central Sinai. The footage showed air attacks on terrorist hideouts as well as maritime and border work being carried out to cut supplies to the terrorist elements.


The targeted locations of “Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018”

These comprehensive operations are executed mainly against terrorist and criminal organizations in North and Central Sinai. The operations have also targeted other areas in the Egyptian Delta and the in the Nile Valley. In addition, training and operational tasks and exercises are being carried out in all strategic directions, the statement read.

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The purposes behind “Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018"

Refai stated that the intensified military operation 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 country’s institutions in order to confront the terrorism and all other connected operations by the extremists.”

Moreover, these operations target hotbeds used by extremists to target law enforcement soldiers as well as civilians in North and Central Sinai.

During the last period, the Field Army has destroyed many hotbeds used by the Takfiri elements in Sinai for hiding and storing the equipment and weaponry used in their terrorist attacks.



Security authorities are also tightening security at navy and land borders to cut off the supply lines of terrorist elements.

Sisi follows up proudly the military operations

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi tweeted saying he is proud to following up on the military operations that were announced by the army and the police on Friday, which aim at uprooting terrorism across the country.

“I proudly follow up the heroic acts of my sons in the armed forces and the police to purge the land of precious Egypt from terrorist elements who are enemies of life ... And always #longLiveEgypt,” Sisi stated on his official Twitter account on Friday.




Egypt's top religious authorities support “Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018"

The State’s top religious authorities declared their full support for the "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018".

Al-Azhar called upon all the Egyptian people to “support our brave armed forces and security personnel in confronting these terrorist and criminal elements, which have terrorized innocent citizens,” Al-Azhar said in its statement.

The statement added that Al-Azhar praises the courage of army and police personnel to "make precious sacrifices for the sake of spreading security in all parts of Egypt."
Additionally, the Coptic Orthodox Church declared its support for Egypt’s operation in Sinai countering terrorism.

The rise of terrorism in Egypt

Since the ousting of ex-Muslim brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has seen the rise of extremism in the country, resulting in numerous deadly attacks.

Last December, two militants tried to storm a church in Helwan, southern Cairo. They opened fire, leaving ten civilians, including six Copts, dead and injuring at least five others. In November, a deadly attack hit the main mosque in North Sinai’s Al-Rawdah village, taking the lives of roughly 22 percent of its male residents. The village’s population is just under 2,111 people, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics’ (CAPMAS) 2016 report.

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Bullet holes and blood stains at Helwan district’s Mar Mina church after Friday’s attack, December 29, 2017 – REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

At least 311 people were killed and 121 injured when unidentified militants attacked the crowded mosque during Friday prayers in the Sinai Peninsula, setting off explosives and spraying worshippers with gunfire.

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A wheelchair is seen near blood stains of victims after an explosion at Al Rawdah mosque in Bir Al-Abed, Egypt November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Soliman

According to eyewitnesses, the militants stormed Al-Rawdah Mosque west of Al-Arish City, detonated an explosive device around the mosque, set fire to cars of the villagers and then cut off the main road leading to the village.

In October 2017, another attack killed 16 security officers in Egypt’s Western Desert and, before that, deadly attacks hit Egypt’s churches last April. In Tanta’s St. George Church, at least 27 people were killed and 78 others were wounded due to an explosive device that was planted under a seat in the main prayer hall.


A suicide bomber attacked St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria where Pope Tawadros II held the Palm Sunday mass. Two police officers guarding the church stopped a man wearing an explosive belt. The police officers, a man and a woman, were killed along with civilians and other police staff.


All of these incidents, among several others, have affected the country for about eight years. Also, Egypt’s economic status has not been at its best.

The army and police started earlier on Friday a comprehensive military operation in Central and North Sinai to uproot terrorism.

Sinai is one of the most tweeted hashtags on Twitter in Egypt, in addition to “Military," “armed forces” and “spokesperson".





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