Two days ago, al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya in Sinai issued a report to jihadist forums, condemning actions taken by Egyptian security forces in recent weeks. The report also alleged that Egyptian authorities are allowing Israeli drones to operate over the Sinai Peninsula.
In the statement, which was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, the Salafi jihadist group claimed that the army’s actions have led to the deaths of a number of civilians in the Sinai. “The blood of the people of Sinai became cheap without a cost to the army elements, so there is no questioning or punishment,” the statement said.
Today a spokesman for the Egyptian army responded to the allegations, in a statement posted on Facebook. Spokesman Ahmed Ali said that the army’s operations in the Sinai have been well thought out and have taken into account a number of considerations, “the most important of which is to protect the lives of citizens.” In addition, the statement claimed that the army has been exercising a high level of restraint in its operations.
The statement went on to thank the residents of the Sinai who have been cooperating with security forces. Those who have been cooperating, the statement said, “have been fulfilling their patriotic role.”
In response to claims by Salafi jihadists that the army has committed a number of “crimes” against Sinai residents in recent weeks, the army spokesman said the army “throughout history” has “never adopted violence or broken the law … against its great people.”
Finally, with regard to allegations that Israeli drones are operating over the Sinai, the spokesman said that such reports were false and that the army would not allow the violation of its airspace or sovereignty.
In recent days, security sources have claimed a number of successes in the operations against jihadists operating in the Sinai. Unfortunately, they have yet to provide hard proof, and numerous attacks were reported yesterday and today.
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