Egypt escalates army operations in Sinai

Egypt Continues Military Operations In Sinai Amid Reports Of Israeli Backing

Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) called on foreign reporters and representatives of foreign media outlets to abide by professional rules and only publish what is being released by the army in their coverage of the "Comprehensive Sinai 2018" military operation, launched on Friday.

The army also said that 30 suspected terrorists were arrested.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi - who is seeking re-election next month - pledged in November to wipe out terrorist elements "within three months" after militants killed more than 300 people at a mosque in the village of Al Rawdah, in the troubled northern sector of the peninsula near Bir El Abd town.

Tamer el-Rifaai, security forces seized weapons, vehicles, communications equipment and other hardware used by the militants during the operation.

Egypt is quietly carrying out the operation with cooperation from Israel.

Relations between Egypt and Israel have improved dramatically since the army ousted Islamist Mohamed Morsi from the presidency in July, 2013.

Teen Gerard wins slopestyle snowboarding for USA's 1st gold medal
Teammates Mark McMorris and Max Parrot won silver and bronze respectively while American Red Gerard captured the gold medal. Gerard totaled 87.16 points in three runs to take the gold, beating Max Parrot of Canada to the second place in 86.00.

Last week the New York Times reported that unmarked Israeli aircraft were carrying out covert strikes in Egypt with the Egyptian president's approval.

"The armed forces and the police assert their determination to uproot terrorism and to achieve peace and stability", Rifai said, according to the statement.

The group generally targets Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai but also claimed an attack on a tourist site in southern Sinai in April of past year.

The operation, which targets "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations", involves land, naval and air forces from the army and police, and covers north and central Sinai, the Nile Delta and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.

Its second and third phases began in January and April 2016, respectively, while the fourth phase started In August 2017, 10 days after 26 Egyptian security personnel were killed in an attack the North Sinai city of Rafah.

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