Published: Tue, February 06, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Report Exposes Israeli Airstrikes on Egyptian Soil

Report Exposes Israeli Airstrikes on Egyptian Soil

The Associated Press, meanwhile, reported that the Egyptian Army was bulldozing homes and olive groves to build "a buffer zone" around North Sinai Province's only airport in the city of el-Arish.

According to the New York Times, spokesmen for both millitaries declined to comment on the secret alliance.

Dozens of covert attacks have been carried out by Israeli drones, warplanes and helicopters, against the terrorist faction, inside the Egyptian Sinai in the last two years according to reports in the New York Times and Washington Post.

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According to the U.S. report, Israel, alarmed at the threat across the border, agreed to take action with the blessing of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, as Egypt struggled to deal with the violent uprising that has killed hundreds of Egyptian security forces and civilians. Cairo and Tel Aviv have also close intelligence cooperation.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of the extremist Islamic State group, now leading a long-running insurgency in Sinai.

Confirmation of Israel's involvement is likely to prove embarrassing for Egypt, particularly in that between the two of them they don't appear to have done much to tamp down the growth of the ISIS affiliate in Sinai, which has remained heavily active. The Israeli drones are unmarked, and the Israeli jets and helicopters cover up their markings.

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Egypt's and Israel's "collaboration in the North Sinai is the most dramatic evidence yet of a quiet reconfiguration of the politics of the region", the Times report said. Thus, for example, in February 2016, then-US Secretary of State John Kerry convened a secret summit in Jordan with Sisi, Jordan's King Abdullah and Netanyahu.

Islamist forces in northern Sinai, along with Islamic State operatives, have killed over 100 Egyptian security officers in recent years, and have essentially taken control of parts of Sinai.

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