Egyptian army launches major anti-terror campaign in Sinai

Egypt’s army has launched a major campaign to target “terrorist elements” in several areas in North and Central Sinai, the army’s spokesman said Sunday.

The spokesman said in an official statement that the campaign includes operations by special forces units, the second and third field armies, as well as the police, all of whom aim to “capture and target terrorist elements and outlaws in the vicinity of villages, cities and residential areas in North and Central Sinai.”

The campaign will include a review of all security arrangements in the areas, with security forces “adhering to the rules of engagement to ensure the safety of civilians who may be used as human shields by militants,” the statement added.

The spokesman said the campaign is bolstered by ongoing airstrikes against militant positions where security operations are taking place.

This is the second comprehensive campaign launched by the army since “Operation Martyr’s Right” was first launched in September 2015 to root out militants operating in the restive peninsula.

The newly-announced campaign comes one day after the Armed Forces launched what is said were successful airstrikes on a number of terrorist hideouts and arms depots in North Sinai. The operation followed a Friday terrorist attack on a security checkpoint in North Sinai that killed 12 army personnel.

Hundreds of security forces in North Sinai have been killed in attacks by Islamist militants in the past few years. Egyptian security forces say they have killed hundreds of militants in North Sinai during the same period.

Source: Ahram Online