On September 28, the Egyptian Defense Ministry announced that the Egyptian Air Force coducted an aerial operation against a group of terrorists who tried to infiltrate throw the Egyptian western border. Egyptian sources suggested that the terrorist were likely ISIS members who tried to enter Egypt from Libya.
Egyptian warplanes discovered, tracked and destroyed at least 10 vehicles of the terrorists loaded with weapons, ammo and other smuggled materials during the aerial operation, according to the Egyptian Defense Ministry statement.
Moreover, the statement revealed that the decision to launch the operation was taken after the Egyptian Army received critical information that terrorist are preparing to enter Egypt.
In the last few months ISIS tried to enter Egypt through the western border several times. ISIS is likely trying to find a foothold in western Egypt as it is very hard for ISIS to supply its cells in the Sinai desert in eastern Egypt away from the border with Libya.
Furthermore, ISIS may try to increase its activity in Libya and western Egypt in the coming months in an attempt to found a new safe haven after its catastrophic losses in Syria and Iraq.
On September 25, the Egyptian Army killed 6 militants and detained 31 others as well as destroyed 6 VBIEDs south of Zouied city in Northern Sinai. An army soldier was killed in the clashes.
Separately, terrorists kidnapped members of local tribes under pretext of cooperating with the army. The incident took place in Kaber Omer area in North Sinai. Terrorists also burned some civilian property near Bir al-Abd area for the same reason.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq reported that Abu-Khaled al-Maqdisy from Gaza was killed in the recent clashes in North Sinai.
Recently, Egypt has boosted its relations with the Hamas movement in Gaza. Egyptian authorities are cooperating with Hamas to settle the dispute between Fath and Hamas movements and to increasing the security of the border area.