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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Sinai Peninsula’

Egyptian Soldier Shot Dead by Sniper in Rafah

Monday, September 5th, 2016

An Egyptian soldier was killed Sunday afternoon by snipers in an ambush attack near a military base at the entrance to the Egyptian part of the city of Rafah.

When Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, Rafah was split into a Gazan part and an Egyptian part, separated by barbed-wire barriers. The middle of the city was razed to create a large buffer zone.

Egyptian security sources said Sunday the attack killed a soldier named Mustafa Badr Hashim, 19, years of Assiut, from a gunshot wound. His body was flown to the military hospital in El-Arish.

Meanwhile, according to the Hamas government, the Egyptians have kept the Rafah border crossings open all day Sunday and will keep it open Monday, to allow passage from the Gaza Strip into Egypt and on to Saudi Arabia for the Muslim pilgrimage. So far a reported 1,243 have been allowed through, while 51 were rejected. Thousands more are expected to request passage should the Egyptian government decide to keep the crossing open.

David Israel

Iranian Arms Going to ISIS-Linked ‘Sinai Province’ Terror Group

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Iranian arms are appearing in the hands of the Sinai Province branch of the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization.

An image seen on Twitter over the weekend showed Islamic State terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula holding the Iranian-made AM-50 Sayyad rifle.

The rifles were “probably just intercepted or repurchased from arms smugglers sent by the Palestinian factions in Gaza,” said the Russian-language “bmpd” website that exposed the arms.

The same weapons have been seen in Syria and Iraq, where they were seized from government forces, and in Gaza. They’ve also been seen elsewhere in the Middle East.

ISIS-linked groups in Sinai also have seized Kornet anti-tank missiles and armored vehicles, specifically Egyptian M60A3 tanks, from the Egyptian army after clashes with its soldiers.

Hana Levi Julian

Egypt Kills Head of ISIS Affiliate in Northern Sinai

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Egypt has announced that its forces have taken out the commander of the Da’esh (ISIS) affiliate terrorist group in the Sinai Peninsula, Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis.

The Egyptian Air Force reportedly killed Abu Doa’a Al-Ansari Thursday in air strikes on the group in northern Sinai, near El Arish, according to a statement in Arabic posted on the Egyptian Army’s Facebook page.

Hundreds of the terrorists were killed by the army in a recent operation called ‘Martyrs’ Right,’ according to the Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram.

Thursday’s counter terror operation involved ground forces working in cooperation with the air force, and killed 45 members of the Sinai-based terror group in addition to Al-Ansari.

The group pledged allegiance last November to Da’esh and its leader, Abu Bakr el-Baghdadi.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Israeli Drones Attack Sinai Terrorists with Egypt’s Approval

Monday, July 11th, 2016

A former senior Israel official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that his country has conducted numerous drone attacks on Islamist terrorists in the Sinai in recent years, with Egypt’s blessing, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Terrorist activities in the Sinai have increased sharply since the ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The terrorist group Ansar Bayit al-Maqdes, which is active in the Sinia, has pledged allegiance to ISIS a year ago and has been targeting Egyptian security forces in the northern Sinai.

Israel has been claiming for some time that Hamas supports the Sinai ISIS terrorists, and that Gaza hospitals provide medical care for wounded terrorists smuggled into Gaza through underground tunnels.

The IDF has said in the past that it’s “only a matter of time” before Sinai based terrorists strike at Israel, which is why it has become involved in denying them increased capabilities.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has acted with a vengeance against the Gazan’s ability to smuggle goods into the Sinai, destroying and flooding hundreds of tunnels, Bloomberg reported, adding that Israel has responded to El-Sisi with financial gestures and, according to the Israeli military’s deputy chief of staff Major-General Yair Golan, increased intelligence-sharing.

“The level of cooperation is something we’ve never experienced before,” Golan said. “It’s not about love, it’s not about common values. I wouldn’t describe it as the relationship we have with the United States of America, but I think it’s a good starting point.”

David Israel

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh’s Nephew Hospitalized in Israel

Monday, June 13th, 2016

The nephew of Hamas de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh was hospitalized over the weekend at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The report, broadcast by Israel’s Channel 2 television news, did not include details of why the nephew was admitted. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Israel has confirmed that Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group has been “partnering” with the growing local Sinai Province branch of the now-international Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization, based primarily in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas has been providing medical aid, communications and technical support as well as assistance with funding resources to the group via its Gaza tunneling system, some of which snakes its way beneath the Egyptian border — and, at least until recently — under the Israeli border as well.

The Sinai Province group, once known as Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis, is also linked to the Muslim Brotherhood — as is Hamas — and is committed to toppling the Cairo government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Hana Levi Julian

ISIS Attacks Northern Sinai, 15 Egyptian Police Dead

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Da’esh (ISIS) operatives from the local Sinai Province terrorist group carried out a massive attack Friday in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

At least 15 Egyptian police officers were killed in one of the terror attacks on a checkpoint in El Arish.

Terrorists attacked the checkpoint using a car bomb and followed up with mortar fire against government troops at the site, according to a translation of the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper report, cited by Egypt Independent.

The Sinai Province group officially claimed responsibility for the attack a few hours later.

Also on Friday the Masa’ed Sheikh Zuwayed power line in northern Sinai came under attack by terrorists. The attack led to power blackouts in Sheikh Zuwayed and in Rafah, located on Egypt’s border with Gaza.

Such incidents are common, according to the Electricity Ministry, which said security forces provide protection for technicians tasked with repairing the lines. The forces are also tasked with hunting for the terrorists responsible for the attacks that cause the blackouts.

Egypt and Israel have been quietly working together to fight against the attempt by Da’esh to increase its forces in the area.

The Islamist terror group has also forged a bond with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, further complicating the already complex security situation along Israel’s southern border.

Since the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Iranian proxy Hezbollah terror group both also have operatives moving in and out of Sinai and Gaza, one wonders how long it will take before Da’esh and Iran sit down to discuss an alliance, with the Muslim Brotherhood (which gave birth to Hamas) as the broker.

Hana Levi Julian

ISIS Declares ‘State of Emergency in Raqqa’ But Reasons Are Unclear

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization has reportedly declared a “state of emergency” in its de facto capital in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa but its reasons are not clear.

Although the U.S.-led coalition forces believe that recent battles have caused the group’s anxiety, it’s more likely the prospect of the arrival of the Mother Ship that has worried the leadership.

A coalition spokesperson said the “declaration of state of emergency is a response to recent military progress by Syrian government forces in the area. “We have seen this declaration of emergency in Raqqa, we know this enemy feels threatened, as they should,” U.S.-led coalition spokesperson Col Steve Warren told CNN. “They see the Syrian Democratic Forces, along with the Syrian Arab Coalition, maneuver both to their east and to their west. We’ve had reports of ISIL (Da’esh/ISIS) repositioning both their combat capabilities, and we’ve seen reports of them repositioning personnel … either within the city of even out of the city.”

The report followed news that Da’esh had killed at least 35 soldiers from the Syrian armed forces, losing 24 fighters in the process, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

But social media and news reports that Da’esh believes it may soon come under siege in Raqqa, its self-declared capital, may not have much to do with the months-long strikes by coalition forces at all.

It turns out that after a decade of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Al Qaeda appears to have decided to relocate its headquarters to Syria. According to a report quoting unnamed U.S. and European intelligence and counter terror sources in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, Al Qaeda recently sent a delegation of its top veterans to Syria to start the process of creating a new headquarters for the terror group.

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization broke its cooperative agreement with Da’esh in 2013. The group led radical Islamists in splitting from moderate opposition forces and was involved in the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad from the start of the civil war.

Since that time, various groups have begun to set up independent emirates – small sovereign states – within the geographic area that once was referred to as Syria.

Senior Al Qaeda operatives have also now been told to lay the groundwork for establishing an emirate there, possibly through Al Nusra, which has yet to formally declare one.

Al Qaeda supreme leader Ayman al-Zawahri released his first audio statement in months about two weeks ago, giving his blessing to the venture.

The presence of a consolidated Al Qaeda headquarters in Syria would, of course, mean a bloody battle indeed between the group and Da’esh, which broke off as a splinter group from Al Qaeda.

It would also mean a massive infusion of new blood for Al Qaeda from a region bursting with passionate youths looking for something to do and somewhere to go, other than school and the prospect of a “regular life.” It would provide an alternative for those who are filled with Islamic fundamentalism, hatred and bloodthirsty excitement, but who just can’t deal with the mindless brutality of Da’esh — which has been the only option up to now.

Such a headquarters, strategically located in the heart of the Middle East near the borders of Turkey, Iran and Russia between Europe, Africa and North America, spells the start of a brand new nightmare for the next American president, regardless of who it is.

For Israel, it means unrelenting vigilance along the northern and southern borders.

Da’esh is already ensconsed in the Sinai Peninsula, where its affiliate, the former Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis, now known as “Sinai Province,” has firmed up its bond with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. Since the start of this month, the IDF has already uncovered two Hamas cross-border terror attack tunnels leading from Gaza into Israeli territory. Each time, the military engineers were forced to carry out their search under mortar fire directed at them by terrorists from Gaza.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/isis-declares-state-of-emergency-in-raqqa-but-reasons-are-unclear/2016/05/16/

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