The Egyptian military has issued a new statement today, reporting that heavy airstrikes against the northern Sinai Peninsula have killed at least 19 members of the local ISIS affiliate, including three members of the ISIS leadership in the area.
Egypt’s ISIS affiliate has a considerable presence across Sinai, and has been carrying out attacks against not only security targets, but increasingly against the nation’s Christian minority. The faction has grown substantially since the 2013 military coup, which led to an immediate offensive against Sinai Islamists.
Though the junta has been trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to beat ISIS back ever since, the latest push appears to be related to the upcoming visit of Pope Francis, with the military trying to prove that they are tightening security around the country.
Of course, tightening security and bombing ISIS are two very different things, with ISIS forces usually following up airstrikes with reported death tolls with quick retaliatory strikes, meaning if anything this bombing may risk a new retaliation at the worst possible time.