Egypt Today’s wrap-up of Sinai 2018 Operation
Military spokesman Colonel Tamer El-Rafei announced a major new military to purge country from terrorism. He read a statement from the General Command of the Armed Forces on the state-run TV, announcing the launch of the operation.
"Great people of Egypt, in accordance with the delegation issued by the president of the republic, the supreme commander of the Egyptian armed forces, to the general command of the Egyptian armed forces and the interior ministry to comprehensively confront terrorism as well other criminal activities in close cooperation with all state institutions, law enforcement troops started to implement the plan of comprehensive confrontation of terrorist and criminal elements and organizations in north and middle Sinai and other areas in the Nile Delta and the desert areas west of the Nile valley," he said.
"In addition, the operation will include the implementation of other military and training missions and exercises in all strategic directions with the aim of tightening of control of the borders of the Egyptian state and to ensure the achievement of the planned aims of the clearing of terrorist pits from the areas where they are found, and to protect Egyptian society from the evils of terrorism and extremism, while also confronting other crimes that affect internal security and stability."
The armed forces "call on all Egyptians in all parts of the republic to closely cooperate with the forces of law enforcement to confront terrorism and weed out its roots, and to promptly report any elements that threaten the security and stability of the homeland," the statement ended.
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.
Meanwhile, a source from the Interior Ministry told state agency MENA that the country has raised the security alert to its highest level nationwide, in light of the “fierce war” by the police in coordination with the armed forces to eradicate “the roots of terrorism.”
According to the source, security measures in the vicinity of major state institutions, houses of worship and tourist hotspots have been intensified.
Only thirty minutes after the army’s statement, President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi said he is following with pride the heroics of the army and police in the "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018”.
“I follow with pride the heroics of my sons from the Armed Forces and the Police to purge the beloved land of Egypt from terrorists, the enemies of life. And always, long live Egypt,” Al-Sisi said in a post on his official Facebook page.
أتابع بفخر بطولات أبنائى من القوات المسلحة والشرطة لتطهير أرض مصر الغالية من العناصر الإرهابية أعداء الحياة .. ودائماً #تحيا_مصر— Abdelfattah Elsisi (@AlsisiOfficial) ٩ فبراير، ٢٠١٨
Afterwards, Colonel Tamer El-Rafei appeared again on the state TV as he read the General Command of the Armed Forces’ second statement providing more details on the operation “Sinai 2018."
"Great people of Egypt, in a continuation of law enforcement forces' efforts, elements of our air forces targeted some of the pits, hideouts, and ammunition and weapons warehouses used by terrorist elements as a base to target the law enforcement forces and civilian targets in North and Middle Sinai,” he said.
“Units from the naval forces are also tightening the security on the sea front, with the aim of cutting all supply lines to terrorist elements."
"The border guard forces and civilian police are also tightening security procedures at borders and on navigational courses."
"Joint elements from the armed forces and the police are also tightening the security procedures at vital ports and areas in different areas of the republic,” he said.
CAIRO - 9 February 2018: Earlier Friday, Egyptian Security Forces launched a comprehensive and strategic confrontation, Sinai 2018, against terrorist hotbeds and criminal organizations in North Sinai, Central Sinai, Egypt's Delta, Nile Valley and the Suez Canal's surrounding. Egypt Today provides you with a briefing on operation Sinai 2018.
Al-Azhar, the highest authority of Sunni Islam worldwide, announced its full support for the Operation Sinai 2018, calling on all the Egyptian people "to support the brave men of the army and police in their fight against terrorist and criminal elements."
In a statement, the world's leading Sunni institution praised the sacrifices of the army and police in the confrontation against terrorists so "Egypt can be purged of these elements that have and terrorized and killed citizens," and in order "to foil the attempts to foster chaos and strife to harm the stability of the homeland."
Al-Azhar also hailed the sacrifices of the residents of Sinai who "have endured suffering caused by "the criminality of such terrorist groups.”
In parallel, Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, headed by Pope Tawadros II, declared its solidarity and support for the nationwide operation of the Egyptian armed forces and police, in accordance with President Al-Sisi's directives, read a short statement on Friday afternoon.
"History will record the sacrifices of Egypt's brave army and police who sacrifice their lives for the sake of the country's stability; long live Egypt's unity," the church statement added.
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
Hours after the start of Sinai 2018 Operation, the Interior Ministry said it killed three members of the Hasm terrorist group in a shootout in an under-construction residential building in Cairo.
The ministry said its comprehensive security plan to curb the group’s actions in Qalioubiya, Daqahliya, Beheira, Menoufiya, Sharqiya, Assiut, and Fayoum led to the arrest of 14 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood following raids on their hideouts on Friday, the ministry said.
“In the framework of the interior ministry’s efforts to abort the plans of terrorist the Muslim Brotherhood – which aims to compromise the country’s security and undermine its capabilities – the national security department has monitored the issuance of a mandate from the fugitive terrorist group leaders abroad to its elements who are members of Hasm, one of the armed wings of the Brotherhood,” the interior ministry said.
The ministry said that the Hasm terrorists were instructed “to execute a number of synchronised hostile operations on vital and important institutions as well as police and Armed Forces ahead of the presidential elections, to create a state of instability and present a negative image about the situation in the country.”
The state TV started to air some footage of the "Sinai 2018" Operation, showing a number of airstrikes and raids to terrorist hideouts.
By mid-day, the Egyptian authorities decided to suspend study at all schools in North Sinai until further notice starting Saturday. The Ministry of Higher Education also announced closing universities and institutions in Sinai for one week.
Egypt's Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal issued a statement stressing his full support to the honorable operation by the Egyptian army to purge the country of terrorists.
Abdel-Aal said that he is closely following the Operation Sinai 2018, which aims to thwart all terrorist plots threatening the security of Egypt, the statement added.
“The parliament values all the sacrifices of brave Egyptian soldiers, and calls on Egyptians to stand with police and the Armed Forces in the country’s war against terrorism, until the land of Egypt is cleansed of it forever,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Spokesman for the Presidency, Bassam Rady, said that the Sinai 2018 Operation came as a result of intensive military efforts and intelligence carried out since 2013, specifically after the Al-Rawda mosque attack on November 24.
Rady pointed out that the armed forces and police are the only bodies responsible for issuing statements on the results of the Sinai 2018 Operation, noting that the presidency will release more information regarding the current operations if necessary.