Egyptian forces backed by attack helicopters poured into the region between Sheikh Zuwayid and Rafah today, attacking four villages which the military junta claimed were “ISIS hideouts” and killing scores of people, including some civilians.
Egyptian officials reported 63 people slain, and naturally insisted that everyone killed was a “militant” from the ISIS group that has been active in the area. They also reported an unspecified number of vehicles were destroyed in the attacks.
Last Wednesday, the ISIS affiliate, currently calling itself State of Sinai but previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, attacked some Egyptian military targets around Sheikh Zuwayid, sparking day-long battles that killed some 200 people on both sides.
Since then, Egypt has launched several counterattacks in the area, killing a number of people. Though the Egyptian state media tends to label all of the slain in their attacks “terrorists,” many of the victims are never conclusively identified.