Fresh off of yesterday’s fighting in the Sinai Peninsula between Egypt’s military junta and ISIS, which is being described as the biggest battle on the peninsula since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egyptian officials are stepping up rhetoric, vowing to wipe out the local ISIS affiliate at all costs.
It’s unclear how they intend to accomplish this, two years into their offensive, but Egyptian sources are saying that the junta is considering “inviting” the Israeli military to join the battle on their side, citing ISIS’ close proximity to the Gaza Strip.
Israel has loudly backed the junta since their 2013 coup, and is sending more troops to the border, citing concerns that the ISIS fighting could spill over into their territory. ISIS has threatened to conquer the Gaza Strip away from Hamas, and the fighting in Sinai is right along the Gaza frontier, meaning the ISIS affiliate is close at hand.
While Israel has been accommodating about letting the junta add troops in the Sinai, with the Camp David Accords giving them effective veto power over this, it isn’t clear how eager the Israeli government is to directly involve itself in the Egyptian fighting. This is doubly true since, in spite of Israeli military claims to the contrary, ISIS is openly setting itself up against Hamas, and intervening may amount to helping Hamas.