As part of the operations conducted by the armed forces against militants’ stationing points in North Sinai during the past few days, the air force managed to kill 18 militants in several air strikes in the cities of Al-Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid.
According to a statement issued on Facebook by the army spokesperson, the air strikes targeted the stationing points and vehicles of militants. Moreover, aerial reconnaissance collected information on militants’ whereabouts in North Sinai.
“The aerial strikes of the past few days resulted in the death of 18 of the most dangerous militants in North Sinai’s cities of Al-Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid. The infantry is continuing its efforts with the support of aerial strikes to eliminate militants,” the statement read.
In the same context, the army spokesperson released a video footage of the aerial strikes through his official Facebook page. The footage showed the bombardment of Bedouin-made homes and a number of fleeing people believed to be militants.
Since the prominent emergence of militant insurgency in North Sinai in 2014, the army and police have engaged in violent confrontations against a militant group that has been previously known as “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.”
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis in 2014 declared its affiliation to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS) and changed its name to “Sinai Province.” Since then, the group has undertaken numerous violent attacks against army and police checkpoints in North Sinai.
Recently, the group released a number of photos in which a dozen militants were establishing a form of Islamic police authority in the streets of Al-Arish. The photos, which were heavily circulated in several social media outlets, raised controversy on whether or not the army and police are really in control of security in North Sinai.
In response to the aforementioned photos, Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhi and Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, along with leading army figures, paid a visit on Friday to Al-Arish to inspect the forces stationed there.
Moreover, the high-ranking delegation headed by the defence and interior ministries made a tour in the streets of Al-Arish to promote a sense of security. The officials met with a number of residents who asserted that conditions are stable in the city, according to a video released on the army spokesperson’s official Facebook page.