(From AP News)
Egypt began a massive security operation Friday involving land, sea and air forces in areas including the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, the epicenter of an Islamic insurgency spearheaded by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.
The operation, announced in a televised statement by army spokesman Col. Tamer el-Rifaai, began early Friday and covers the Sinai and areas in Egypt’s Nile Delta and Western Desert. He said the operation is targeting “terrorist and criminal elements and organizations.” There was no indication how long the operation would last.
The announcement comes ahead of the presidential election in March in which President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is running for a second four-year term with no serious contenders. El-Sissi was elected in 2014 in a landslide with promises of restoring security.