With ISIS diminishing in Iraq and potentially Syria as well, it is necessary to look for other areas where ISIS is maintaining a stronghold. Egypt is an excellent example. Whether it is attacks on Coptic Christians or military checkpoints, the ISIS’ affiliate in Sinai is launching deadlier attacks. In fact, “the Sinai-based militants are among the region’s most resilient, after IS in Iraq and Syria, where the so-called caliphate is rapidly losing ground.” Most recently, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack that killed at least 23 soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula. Continued attacks reveals Egypt’s inability to stabilize the situation, control ISIS’ insurgency, and protect vulnerable populations.
07/10/2017 Egypt (NJ Herald) – The Islamic State group has claimed an attack on a remote Egyptian army outpost in the Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 23 soldiers, the deadliest assault in the turbulent region in two years.
IS said in an online statement late Friday that it carried out the attack as the army was preparing to assault militant positions in the territory bordering Gaza and Israel.
The coordinated attack suggested the Sinai-based militants are among the region’s most resilient, after IS in Iraq and Syria, where the so-called caliphate is rapidly losing ground. It also underscored the challenges facing Egypt’s security forces as they try to contain the insurgency.
Local TV channels on Saturday carried live footage of the funerals of those killed, with their coffins wrapped in Egypt’s red, white and black flag.
Egypt has for years battled militants in Sinai, where the jihadis have exploited the vast, arid and underdeveloped region, recruiting from its disgruntled Bedouin population.
Friday’s assault began in the early morning, when a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a checkpoint at a military compound in the village of el-Barth, southwest of the border town of Rafah. Dozens of masked militants then descended on the site in 24 Land Cruisers and opened fire on the soldiers with machine guns, according to security officials.