Sunday, August 12, 2012

More Questions About Egypt's Alleged Sinai Retaliation

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, elected in June, has vowed to restore stability in what the military has billed the biggest offensive in the region since Egypt's 1973 war with Israel.

After posting earlier today about Challah Hu Akbar's post on questions surrounding Egypt's Sinai retaliation for terrorist attacks, I came across another article questioning whether Egypt is really going after the terrorists in the Sinai.

Now Reuters is reporting that there is little sign of battle in Egypt's Sinai region:

Egypt poured troops into North Sinai on Thursday in an offensive meant to tackle militants in the Israeli border region, but residents were skeptical, saying they had seen no sign of anyone being killed in what they described as a "haphazard" operation.
It's not as if the Egyptians aren't putting on a good show. On Thursday, troops and military vehicles were seen going to al-Arish and from there to Sheikh Zuwaid, which had been hit from the air on Wednesday. The troops flashed victory signs and filmed their departure with their video cameras.

But according to Reuters, the residents in Sheikh Zuwaid and the surrounding area were interviewed and said they did not see any signs of fighting on Thursday and were less than impressed with Wednesday's strike:
"We are not against attacking militants, but the pilots have to set their targets properly because we have been subjected to haphazard bombardment which led to the destruction of homes and cars," said Mohamed Aqil in al-Goura village near Sheikh Zuwaid.

"They said they killed 20 militants, where are they? Show them to us," said one resident at al Goura.
Other accounts also imply the Egyptian strikes are not serious:
In al Toumah, a village surrounded by olive fields, one witness said he saw troops firing in the air.

"We thought they were chasing someone, but their arms were directed up and we didn't see who they were fighting with," the witness, who declined to be named, said. "We couldn't find any bodies or signs of battle after they left."
These kinds of reports cannot help Morsi, who already avoided attended the funeral of the murdered Egyptian soldiers because of anger against his government. Some have already accused him of being soft on Hamas because of their connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.

If the goal here is to fool someone into thinking Egypt is taking decisive measures--it's not working, at least not on the Egyptian people.

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