Islamic State (ISIS) Sinai: Israel's Assistance To Egyptian Forces Hinders Operatives' Freedom Of Movement

May 2, 2022

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The April 28, 2022 issue 336 of the Islamic State (ISIS) Al-Naba' weekly includes a report of the alleged operations carried out over the previous week by "a small force" of ISIS operatives against militias loyal to the Egyptian Army in the village of Al-Muqata'ah near Rafah, in the far northeast of the Sinai Peninsula.[1] ISIS had already claimed responsibility for several of the attacks listed.

ISIS contends that during these confrontations it was able to harm more than 20 militiamen, including senior commanders. The weekly refers to military involvement by Israel, mainly by means of aerial supports, in the operations against ISIS, and claims that these included the assassination of an ISIS military commander from the air. Al-Naba' states that the alleged support from Israel limits its operatives' freedom of movement.

According to the report in the magazine, over the past week ISIS carried out five operations, which included opening fire with light weapons and the detonation of IEDs, on the forces of the Egyptian regime in the region.

In an exclusive report from a "security source" Al-Naba' states that the campaign being conducted by the "apostate militias" in Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayyed – which reached a climax last month – was supported by aerial sorties from "the Jewish forces" above the border areas between Egypt and Israel. The source claims that prior to the current series of battles, "planes of the Jews" assassinated "a military commander of the mujahideen," Abu 'Omar Al-Ansari, in the region. Furthermore, the source notes that drones belonging to the Jews provide air cover for the militias and adds that this "greatly limits the freedom of movement and maneuverability of the mujahideen." The source stresses the difficulties experienced by the operatives in the field and notes that the village of Al-Muqata'ah has been under siege for several years now, "as the result of the pact between the Jews and the Egyptian Army and the militias," and that the number of ISIS operatives who ran the military campaign in the village "is no more than twenty."

Quoting the same "security source," the weekly adds that, "the goal of the Jews in these campaigns is to distance the mujahideen from the border area and to lay the groundwork for their ongoing schemes which are only formally led by the Egyptian Army. The Jews outline the plans while the Egyptian Army and its militias execute them. The mujahideen are the only ones who continue to oppose these schemes with the continuation of their jihad, with the help of Allah."

It should be noted that, conversely, the Egyptian security forces and the Sinai Tribal Union which assists them have reported successes in the struggle against the nests of ISIS operatives in the area,[2] and therefore it is possible that the ISIS claims regarding massive Israeli aerial support for the Egyptian forces may be intended to justify the organization's difficulties and failures on the battlefield.

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