Egypt’s Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki inspected on Monday armed forces security units in North Sinai governorate to follow up on the progress made in the implementation of Operation Sinai 2018, a comprehensive counter-terrorism operation underway since February.
The Egyptian army, with the help of the police, launched a broad operation in northern and central Sinai in February against armed groups affiliated with ISIS, who were seeking to make the area a new terrorist hub for the fugitives of armed conflicts in the region.
Over the past six months, the operation resulted in the killing of more than 321 terrorists, the seizure and destruction of more than 1,000 explosive devices, in addition to around 548 vehicles and 881 motorcycles, as well as the demolition of more than 11 tunnel openings on the northern Sinai border.
The defense minister highly valued the ongoing coordination and cooperation between the armed forces and the police to monitor and track terrorist cells and carry out successful preemptive strikes against these elements, stressing that the people of Sinai were the first line of defense for Egypt’s national security, along with the armed forces and police.
He pointed to the importance of continuous development in the security strategies to confront the criminal operations in Sinai, stressing the need to maintain the highest levels of vigilance and readiness.
The Sinai 2018 Operation aims to implement a comprehensive plan to confront terrorist and criminal cells and organizations throughout Egypt, to tighten control over the country’s external ports, and to clear areas where terrorist groups are centered.