Egypt Launches Sinai Air Strike
August 8, 2012
The Fresh Outlook
Egypt launched an air strike on suspected militants in Sinai after attacks on security checkpoints that have killed 20 “terrorists”.
It is the first time that the army has filed missiles in the area since the 1973 war with Israel to recapture the Sinai Peninsula.
The attack comes a few hours after three security checkpoints were attacked by gunmen who were suspected Islamic militants in North Sinai’s main city of el-Arish, about 30 miles from the Gaza-Israel border.
However, the retaliation was perhaps prompted by Sunday’s attack, in which 16 border guards were killed and the militants breached the border, penetrating 2km inside Israel before the armoured vehicle they commandeered was blown up in an Israeli missile strike.
Despite its limited military allowance in Sinai due to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, there has been a heavy military build up in the area and the Egypt’s border with Gaza has been closed as forces attempt to round up the remaining militants.
Israel signalled its approval of Egypt’s actions so far, and senior defence official Amos Gilad told Israel Radio on Wednesday that Egypt was determined to “impose order in Sinai because that is their responsibility … If they don’t remove and uproot [the threat], it will continue to strike”.
By Lucy England
[Image courtesy of gartmann]