Egyptian Military Kills Terrorists In Northern Sinai

Following a week-long anti-terrorism operation, the Egyptian military managed to kill a number of terrorists totaling to seventy seven. This was a result and part of a crackdown against Islamist extremists in the northern Sinai peninsula. The Egyptian Military located up to 317 dens, hideouts and stores and managed to destroy ten vehicles loaded with weapons and ammunition. During this operation, three officers and four soldiers were reported to have been killed. The northern peninsula has been a hot spot for terrorist activities for years now.

Reported groups operating in the area of the Islamic state group and others have engaged in smuggling arms into Gaza and staging attacks against Egyptian forces. The fallout suffered by locals as a result of  the insurgency in Sinai ranges from militant operation and the destroying of homes, to the evacuation of thousands. Egyptian troops pressed on to build a buffer zone meant to halt smuggling of weapons and militants to the Gaza strip.

It’s high time now that Egypt employ and use counter-insurgency style tactics in their efforts in the Sinai peninsula. As the world witnesses another humanitarian crisis, dozens of civilians have been killed, in military operations or kidnapped and then beheaded by militants. Most of the displaced families share some grievances of palpable government negligence, unavailability of nearby schools and health centers.

Lack of freedom of worship, has been evident as more than three hundred Sufist worshipers were killed and over 100 people were injured in a terrorist attack on a mosque west of the city of Al Arish. A belief in the importance of a population-centered approach to counter-terrorism efforts is more important now than ever. Even if it takes longer to be successful, the fight in the Sinai calls for the development of asymmetric counter-terrorism tactics to influence operations.

The ongoing Sinai terror attacks are a result the Egyptian revolution in 2011. Which saw an overthrow of longtime Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.  Since then, terrorist attacks by Islamist militant groups continue against the Egyptian security forces and civilians. Initially the Sinai insurgency consisted of local tribesmen, who exploited the chaotic situation in Egypt and weakened central authority to launch a series of attacks on government forces in the Sinai.

The economist also claims that the conflict involves tribesmen who have a long standing grievance against central government in Cairo. Where they’re barred from joining the force or police. Rural tribesmen find it hard to get jobs in tourism and also complain that many of their lands have been taken from them. The Egyptian authorities have attempted to restore their presence in the Sinai through political and military measures. Operations have been launched by the Egyptian government to counter the increase in sophisticated weapons employed by the Islamist group.

With the involvement of Israel in preventing the rise of illicit and insurgent activities along the Egypt-Israel border which included extensive smuggling and kidnapping of migrants ,drugs and contraband from Sinai to Israel. Egypt has continued to respond in different ways in response to issues along the Egypt-Israel border, using both judicial and military solutions to combat the smuggling and kidnapping of migrants, drugs and other contraband from Sinai into Israel.

The judicial mechanisms used by the Egyptian government involve the death penalty to punish those convicted in terrorist acts in the Sinai. Military tactics have also been employed, though with huge disadvantages. The Egyptian military has been conducting air-strikes and land assaults against terrorist positions in the Sinai. Egypt is however, only permitted to mobilize small military forces in the Sinai to enforce security. Use of armed drones is also present as a measure to counter weapon and militant trafficking between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Rhoda Nduku
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