A few hours after launching a “comprehensive security operation” against terrorists in Sinai, domestic and international circles have searched for explanations and experts’ opinions to elaborate the operation’s motives and anticipated outcomes.
“Egypt’s ongoing security operation against terrorists and extremists in Sinai is acting as much of a military deterrent and as a precaution,” former Egyptian intelligence Undersecretary Major-General Mohamed Rashad told Egypt Today on Friday.
Rashad stressed that Sinai is in a bad need of such a “military operation to purge the peninsula of militants,” and to pave a safe way to witness a democratic and free presidential election which is set to take place in March.
“President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi promised Egyptians to root terrorism out of the country before beginning of the presidential election voting in March,” Rashad added.
Security forces need the Egyptians’ support
Rashad reaffirmed that Egypt’s security apparatuses and leadership have realized that a large-scale security operation must be carried out at the present time, as a result “Egyptians have to show their support to our security forces; encouraging them to keep the spirit up and achieve victory over extremism.”
Rashad revealed that the Health Ministry raised a state of high alert a few days ago at public hospitals in North and South Sinai and Ismailia governorates. “This action proves there were preparatory measures by the country’s authorities prior to the security operation which has launched on Friday.”
The irregular terrorist attacks against civilians and security personnel across Egypt have been carried out by “ghosts” as those militants have been hiding well in secret hotbeds, Rashad indicated.
“Egyptian security forces have succeeded to curb terrorist hands of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, however they have still exerted sincere efforts to eradicate plots and conspiracies made by foreign parties against the Egyptian state,” stated Rashad who heads the military committee in charge of Israeli affairs.
Sinai’s tribes’ cooperation with security forces
“There is no doubt that the Egyptian security apparatuses have been doing their best to abort terrorists’ plots against the Egyptian state nationwide,” said Egypt’s former deputy head of the Security Intelligence Services (SIS) General Foad Allam to Egypt Today on Friday.
Allam praised the Egyptian security, military and police forces’ endeavors in the past years to control the peninsula of Sinai and various border lines, manifesting, “Sinai tribes’ heads have played a significant role in assisting the security forces to take the control of Sinai and border sites.”
The Armed Forces fully aware of its targets’ sites
Egypt’s comprehensive security operation against terrorist and criminal elements and organizations in Sinai has been carried out in response to strict directives given by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to the military chief of staff to eliminate the terrorist cells existing in Sinai, giving only a three month time period for the operation, according to former military intelligence reconnaissance apparatus Major-General Nasr Salem on Friday. Salem manifested that decisions related to security operations are only made after obtaining valuable pieces of information and verifying them.
Salem added, in a phone interview with ON Live TV, that the Armed Forces are fully aware of its targets in Sinai, stressing, “The Armed Forces have credible information about sites where their targets exist. The security operations will be launched in different places on the right timing to achieve the best results as much as the forces can.”
The Armed Forces released two statements, affirming that both the army and police are also intensifying security measures in vital areas across the country.
In the first statement early morning on Friday, the army announced that they have raised a state of high alert across different governorates to execute a comprehensive security crackdown against terrorists, according to a video statement by the Armed Forces on the official Facebook page of the military spokesman.
The military spokesperson Tamer El-Refai said in video statement number (2) on Friday that the targeted hotbeds were used by the extremists to target law enforcement soldiers as well as civilians in North and Central Sinai. Moreover, security authorities are also tightening navy and land borders security to cut off supply lines for terrorist elements.