Google+ Followers

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New clashes happen in Egypt’s Sinai again

Egypt's military in El-Arish, Sinai

The new clashes have broken out between Egyptian police and Islamist militants in El-Arish in Sinai, according to state TV and news agency MENA. The gunmen attacked the police station number two in the city of El-Arish, a day after the massive offensive of Egyptian military targeting the militants. No casualties reported yet.

Those attacks followed the terrible Sunday attack on Egyptian checkpoint along the border between Egypt, Israel and Gaza, which left 16 soldiers and policemen dead and 7 injured and was one of the deadliest in last times. The clashes took place unexpected, during the prayer time and the meal breaking the fast during Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan, what made the situation more shocking. Egyptian and Israeli side are agreed that the attack was carried out by the jihadist group which is the part of the great terrorist network operating on the territory of Egyptian Sinai desert. This attack provoked a wave of criticism of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy and his government demanding more decisive actions.

A few days after Sunday clashes there were several attacks of Egyptian checkpoints and police station in Sinai again, close to El-Arish, when the unidentified gunmen committed the attacks. The military cement factory in the area was also attacked. Egyptian Armed Forces launched on Wednesday a great offensive in response to the clashes. The additional troops and heavy weapons were deployed in the region, and the massive military operation using the ground and air forces resulted in the killing of 20 terrorists who were hiding in village of Touma and Sheikh Zuwaid area. After today’s fresh clashes the offensive continued focusing on El-Arish, Sheikh Zuwaid and Rafah areas. The border with Gaza in Rafah is closed; Egypt’s military also started the destroying of the underground tunnels connecting Gaza and Egypt’s Sinai.

Egyptian soldiers near the military vehicle. El-Arish, Sinai
Following the clashes in Sinai Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy dismissed yesterday several high officials, among them Head of Intelligence, Head of Military police, Head of Presidential Guard, Director of Security in Cairo and Director of Central Security forces. The governor of Northern Sinai governorate was also sacked.

The situation in Sinai has significantly deteriorated after 18-days uprising and fall of Hosni Mubarak with the numerous terrorists group operating on the territory of Sinai and the tense situation with the local Bedouins who were neglected by Egypt’s government during long time. Egypt’s military presence is limited in Sinai according to 1979 Camp David peace treaty with Israel, and any deployment of additional armed forces should be considered with Israeli side. It makes the task of maintaining the control and security in the region harder, and the current situation requires the serious amendments in the peace treaty.