FILE- Egyptian troops North Sinai
CAIRO – 17 October 2018: Life in North Sinai has become normal, according to Armed Forces spokesman Tamer al-Rifai on Tuesday, Oct.16.
In an interview with Saudi-owned channel Al-Arabiya, Rifai said that the Comprehensive Military Operation Sinai 2018 has fulfilled most of its targets in North Sinai. “Terrorist leaders were killed and groups and facilities were destroyed,” Rifai stated.
He added that Sinai 2018 military operation killed more than 450 terrorists and destroyed up to 1200 explosive devices and 900 vehicles. Tons of drugs and narcotic plant farms were ruined, according to Rifai.
He affirmed that preserving the civilians' lives is the main purpose of the military operation. “The Armed Forces are highly committed to providing full protection for civilians and to maintaining their rights,” Rifai said during the interview.
Rifai referred to the strong Egyptian – Saudi relations during the interview, especially regarding the military cooperation.
On October 8, the General Command of the Egyptian Armed Forces issued the 28th statement of the Comprehensive Military Operation Sinai 2018 on the newly-achieved progress in the forces’ ongoing battle against terrorist and extremist groups active in Northern Sinai.
It was stated that seven terrorist hideouts were targeted by the Egyptian Air Forces, and 26 takfiris were killed. Two four-wheel cars were destroyed and 26 cars as well as 52 motorcycles were seized by the forces.
The operation foiled a terrorist plan to target a number of military check points in North Sinai, according to the statement.
On August 29, the Armed Forces released the 27th statement of the military operation. It was stated that the forces managed to eliminate seven terrorists, considered extremely dangerous, and seized large amounts of sophisticated arms and weapons of different kinds that were found in the terrorists' possession.
Last February, and under the title "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018," Egypt's Armed Forces launched a comprehensive military operation targeting the hotbeds of terrorists in Northern and Central Sinai.
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 civilians and security forces.