Egypt army kills 83 militants in North Sinai

Military forces look on in North Sinai, Egypt December 1, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 05 November 2019

Egypt army kills 83 militants in North Sinai

  • The latest army figures brings the death toll of suspected militants in the Sinai region to more than 830

CAIRO: Egypt’s army said on Monday it had killed 83 militants in clashes in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where a Daesh affiliate has waged a long-running insurgency.
Security forces killed 77 extremists, who were found with stacks of weapons and ammunition in north and central Sinai, the army said.
Six other “highly dangerous” militants were killed in shootouts in the region, the army said in a statement on a nationwide anti-militant operation between Sept. 28 and Nov. 4.
About 61 “criminals, wanted individuals and suspects” were arrested, it said.
Security forces also destroyed dozens of hideouts and vehicles as part of the ongoing operation, according to the statement.

Security
Egypt has for years been fighting an insurgency in North Sinai that escalated after the military’s 2013 ouster of the then-president following mass protests.
In February 2018, the army and police launched a nationwide operation against militants, mainly focused on North Sinai.
The operation also targets other areas including the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.
The latest army figures brings the death toll of suspected militants in the Sinai region to more than 830.
About 60 security personnel have been killed since the start of the offensive.
Following the death of Daesh chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi late last month, the group’s North Sinai affiliate has pledged allegiance to his successor, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Quraishi.


Successor to slain Iran general faces same fate if he kills Americans: US envoy

Updated 23 January 2020

Successor to slain Iran general faces same fate if he kills Americans: US envoy

  • Washington blamed Soleimani for masterminding attacks by Iran-aligned militias against US forces in the region
  • Ghaani promised to “continue in this luminous path” taken by Soleimani and said the goal was to drive US forces out of the region

DUBAI: The US special representative for Iran said the successor to Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike, would suffer the same fate if he followed a similar path of killing Americans, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.

Washington blamed Soleimani for masterminding attacks by Iran-aligned militias against US forces in the region. US President Donald Trump ordered the Jan. 3 drone strike in Iraq after a build up of tension over Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran responded to the killing of Soleimani, who was charged with expanding Tehran’s influence across the Middle East, by launching missile strikes on US targets in Iraq, although no US soldiers were killed.

After Soleimani’s death, Tehran swiftly appointed Esmail Ghaani as the new head of the Quds Force, an elite unit in the Revolutionary Guards that handles actions abroad. The new commander pledged to pursue Soleimani’s course.

“If (Esmail) Ghaani follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate,” Brian Hook told the Arabic-language daily Asharq Al-Awsat.

He said in the interview in Davos that US President Donald Trump had long made it clear “that any attack on Americans or American interests would be met with a decisive response.”

“This isn’t a new threat. The president has always said that he will always respond decisively to protect American interests,” Hook said. “I think the Iranian regime understands now that they cannot attack America and get away with it.”

After his appointment, Ghaani promised to “continue in this luminous path” taken by Soleimani and said the goal was to drive US forces out of the region, which has long been Iran’s stated policy.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have steadily increased since Trump withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018 and imposed tough news sanctions that have hammered the Iranian economy.

This month’s military flare-up began in December when rockets fired at US bases in Iraq killed a US contractor. Washington blamed pro-Iran militia and launched air strikes that killed at least 25 fighters. After the militia surrounded the US embassy in Baghdad for two days, Trump ordered the drone strike on Soleimani.