Egyptian army and air forces have begun to strike at militant groups in the Sinai after the country’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered an operation to drive militants out of the region earlier this month.
Egyptian forces killed 12 militants after airstrikes destroyed dozens of militant targets in Sinai. Around 92 suspects have been arrested, the Egyptian military said.
Nearly 30 militants have been killed thus far since the operation to crush insurgents began last Friday.
Al-Sisi ordered the armed forces to plan and carry out the operation in November after an attack on a mosque killed more than 300 people, the deadliest such incident in the Middle East’s most populous country. [source]
Analysis: Militants in the Sinai have been a problem for Egypt for some time now, but many inside the country see the latest operation as an attempt by al-Sisi to instill confidence in his regime ahead of reelection. And of course, witnessing 300 of your countrymen being slaughtered makes it far easier to order such operations. Israel is reportedly watching the operation closely since it’s so close to its border, but there are no indications that Egypt poses a threat to the Jewish state, both of which are allies of the U.S.