The Egyptian Armed Forces announced that the ongoing operations in Sinai has killed 10 militants, raising the number of extremists killed since Friday—when the extensive Sinai 2018 operation began—to 38.
Military spokesperson Tamer El-Refaei said in a statement that around 400 suspects were arrested, adding that they include foreigners. He added that the navy has fired four missiles.
The statement also mentioned that food rations have been distributed to civilians in the area of operations.
Previously, El-Refaei added that the forces of the Second and Third Field Armies also destroyed bomb stocks, four-wheel drive vehicles, and motorbikes. According to the statement, the military forces destroyed a lab for preparing explosives and a media centre that was used by militants.
Security experts anticipate that the Sinai 2018 operation will be different from previous operations due to its wider scale and the large amounts of personnel and armaments used.
Security expert and former general Mahmoud Zaher said, “what the armed forces is doing is built on strategic information and accurate intelligence, which elevates it to a full-scale operation.”
He added that the campaign is a “comforting message to the Egyptian people as well as to other regional powers.”
Sinai 2018 comes as part of the Egyptian state’s plan to fight terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula. In November 2017, Al-Sisi vowed to restore stability by eradicating terrorism, placing the military and police in charge of completing the task within a period of three months. This had followed a massive first-of-its-kind terror attack on a mosque in Al-Arish city, killing at least 305 citizens.
The operation is a follow up to other operations that were carried out by military forces in Sinai Such as Martyr’s Right in 2016 and 2017.
On Friday, the Egyptian Armed Forces announced that it launched an extensive military operation in Sinai to eliminate militants from the restive peninsula. The operation aims to target “dens and ammunition storages that are being used by terrorist elements,” according to the Friday statement. The ongoing operation includes navy, air force, and infantry forces.
Since 2013, state security forces, represented by both the military and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to the Islamic State group and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.