Egypt is making little progress in its war against ISIS – Forward Observer Shop

Egypt is making little progress in its war against ISIS

Even as the self-declared caliphate of the Islamic State has lost most of its ground in Syria and Iraq, an ISIS branch in the Sinai is giving the Egyptians fits.

Despite billions in U.S. counterterrorism aid, after four years Egyptian security forces have made little progress against the IS faction, Wilayat Sinai, which has cost Cairo the lives of hundreds of police officers and soldiers:

Since July 2013, at least 1,000 members of the security forces have been killed in terrorist attacks across the restive Sinai Peninsula, according to data compiled by the nonprofit Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. In 2017, more than 200 members of the security forces have been killed there.

Wilayat Sinai alone has claimed more than 800 attacks across Egypt since its pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State in November 2014, said Nancy Okail, the Tahrir Institute’s executive director. Egyptian security forces, she added, have killed more than 2,500 suspected terrorists in operations in Sinai since 2013, although unofficial numbers reported by local media are significantly higher.

In northern Sinai, Islamic State-linked militants are leading the Islamist insurgency launched in the summer of 2013 after Egypt’s military overthrew the elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi. The coup was led by the current president, Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, and the insurgency’s stated goal is to topple his government.

As ISIS is being driven out of its sanctuaries in Syria and Iraq, fighters and allied factions are turning up elsewhere — Egypt, throughout North Africa, Afghanistan, and even the Philippines. [source]

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 4: What are the latest indicators of war in the Middle East?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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