Global News

NY Times: Israel pounds ISIS in Egypt through 'secret alliance' with Cairo

NY Times: Israel pounds ISIS in Egypt through 'secret alliance' with Cairo

For over two years, unmarked Israeli drones, jets, and helicopters mounted a covert air campaign, completing over 100 airstrikes inside Egyptian territory in an operation approved by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, reported the NY Times on Saturday.

The Israeli intervention has helped the Egyptian military regain its footing in its battle against militants in the North Sinai Peninsula, the Times said.

Shared enemies like ISIS, Iran, and political Islam have quietly brought the leaders of several Arab states into growing alignment with Israel - even as their officials and news media continue to vilify the Jewish state in public. For Israel, the strikes have bolstered the security of its borders and the stability of its neighbor.

The North Sinai, where the secret Israeli strikes have been carried out, remains a largely lawless mountainous desert region that has devolved into a refuge for Islamic terrorists.

According to the U.S. sources, Israel began its airstrikes following the capture of a north Sinai town by the Islamists and the downing of a Russian charter jet over Sinai in October 2014 that killed 224 people. Furthermore, the USA officials said Israel's covert campaign has played a major role in enabling Egypt's military to gain an upper hand against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.




Certain American elected officials have remarked that given Cairo's reliance on the Israeli military, it is hypocritical for Egyptian officials and state-controlled news media to consistently publicly denounce Israel in forums such as the United Nations.

Both Israel and Egypt allegedly sought to hide the operation, as the two countries maintain a fragile and fraught relationship. Some fly circuitous routes to create the impression that they are based in the Egyptian mainland, according to USA officials briefed on their operations.

The paper said knowledge of Israel's involvement has been kept within a close circle at the highest echelon's of Egypt's military and intelligence apparatus.

In November 2014, Ansar Beit al Maqdis declared itself a branch of the Islamic State.

Israel views the airstrikes as vital to maintaining the integrity of its southern border with Egypt and the prevention of rocket attacks from the Sinai at its civilian population.


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