The head of military intelligence affiliated with the armed forces, Mohamed El-Shahat, announced that the military’s sweeping operation “Martyr’s Right” resulted in the death of 500 militants since its beginning in September 2015.
According to El-Shahat’s speech—delivered during the army cultural summit held on Thursday in the presence of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi, and Prime Minister Sherif Ismail—also highlighted the current efforts exerted to fight terrorism all over Egypt.
The head of military intelligence asserted that the hazards and threats that come from internal and external entities pushed the army to adopt a comprehensive strategy to eliminate terrorism.
The army’s strategy to face terrorism is based on three stages. The first depends on monitoring and following up on terrorism networks, in addition to dismantling bases that provide logistical and financial support to these networks.
The second stage is based on the execution of military sweeping operations in cooperation with police forces and the residents of the Sinai peninsula, aiming to achieve full elimination of terrorists’ presence, according to El-Shahat.
Meanwhile, the third stage depends on the launch of comprehensive development projects for the sake of upgrading the living status of the residents of the Sinai peninsula with a strict follow-up on the security measures undertaken to fight terrorists.
Moreover, the head of military intelligence noted that following the 30 June uprising in 2013, the coordination between both the Muslim Brotherhood and members of the group previously known as “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis,” currently named “Sinai Province,” is on the rise and that their sole goal is to increase pressure on the Egyptian government for the sake of reviving brotherhood rule.
Regarding the ground results of the military sweeping operations conducted by the armed forces, El-Shahat said the scheme of terrorists reached its peak in July 2015 when the terrorists tried to establish an extremist Islamist province inside the North Sinai’s city of Sheikh Zuweid.
“On that day, armed and police forces foiled this attempt with all their power, with the support of aerial strikes, which targeted all stationary and mobile terrorists. These strikes resulted in the overextension of the “Sinai Province” group, eliminating 50% of its extremely dangerous militants,” explained El-Shahat regarding the circumstances of the July 2015 attacks.
The stages of the military sweeping operation “Martyr’s Right,” that targeted the leading figures in the “Sinai Province” group and its structure, resulted in the destruction of 250 stationing points that included hiding places and groupings, in addition to weaponry stores.
“The Martyr’s Right operations led to the death of 500 extremely dangerous terrorists and the destruction of 130 vehicles used by them,” El-Shahat said.
Furthermore, the military intelligence worked hard to drain sources of financial and logistical support provided to terrorists through the seizure of a million kilogrammes of explosives when these materials were transferred through numerous Egyptian ports, according to El-Shahat.
“Some gangs have been arrested after proving their involvement in providing logistical and financial support in cooperation with foreign exchange companies and ten tourism firms,” El-Shahat said.
The results of the investigations regarding the arrested terrorists revealed that some countries were involved in providing armed groups with both financial and logistical support through importing explosive materials and delivering it to leading figures of the brotherhood, who, in turn, transfer to terrorists, according to him.
Since 2013, state security forces, represented by both the army and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province,” known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to IS and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian armed forces launched counterattacks against militant stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula, where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish.