President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi praised on Saturday the efforts of the military in combating terrorist attacks which target military locations, according to a presidency statement.
Al-Sisi’s statement came during a meeting with the Supreme Council of Armed Forces.
During the meeting, military personnel presented to Al-Sisi the latest developments and strategies of the armed forces towards terrorism threats, particularly in North Sinai.
Last week, a military patrol managed to “foil a terrorist attack that could have killed around 50-60 civilians and security personnel.” The spokesperson published a video showing a car approaching a checkpoint and an M-16 tank running over it and turning back. Seconds later, the footage shows an explosion, according to a statement.
Furthermore, Al-Sisi asserted that the strategic development of the military, particularly the latest inauguration of Mohammed Naguib military base, would allow the military to further secure the northern parts of Egypt.
Al-Sisi inagurated the new military base last week, which would act as a headquarters for the Northern Military Unit. Reportedly the largest base in the Middle East, it is based to provide military service and protection for Al-Dabaa nuclear plant, the western side of the city of Alexandria, naval ports, oil fields in the area, as well as other military and economic cities.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the new military base will consist of 1,100 buildings and includes a special unit of production with the aim of provide essential products for the personnel in the base. It is said to include 1,979 feddans to cultivate crops and to grow vegetables and fruits. The base will include a museum to commemorate the life and military carrier of Mohamed Naguib. It will also include several sports facilities.
Since early July, the military intensified the “Martyr’s Right” operation after a suicide bomber stormed into the military post in the village of Rafah in North Sinai, killing and injuring at least 26 military personnel. The attack was claimed by the militant group Sinai Province, an Islamic State (IS) group affiliate.
The operation reportedly resulted in the death of 500 militants since it began in September 2015.
Al-Sisi further asserted the significance of the military efforts in several developmental projects.
In a similar context, Al-Sisi issued a presidential decree on Wednesday to establish the National Council to Combat Terrorism and Extremism (NCCTE).
The council is comprised of the president of the republic; the prime minister (PM); the speaker of the parliament; the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar; the Pope of Alexandria; and the ministers of defence, interior, foreign affairs, and other ministers.
Furthermore, several public figures are members of the council, including actors, journalists, and religious figures.
The council is set to formulate a national strategy to combat terrorism and extremism, coordinate with religious institutes and security bodies to enhance the religious speech and spread awareness against extremist ideologies. Additionally, the council has the authority to recommend amendments to current laws regarding terrorism.
Coordinating Arab stances towards terrorism is also of the council’s interests, as it is set to prepare the required efforts to spread awareness among international societies about terrorist organisations and the countries that support them.
Additionally, the council follows up with the procedures of penalties imposed on terrorist organisations and members.
In April, Al-Sisi announced the establishment of the council, following the attack on two churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday.