Cairo, Egypt. Recent attacks in Egypt may have been carried out by ISIS terrorists trained in Libya, but as Egypt starts airstrikes on suspected terrorist camps in Egypt, experts wonder how far are we away from another NATO-US intervention in Libya?
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the air raids were targeting militant camps responsible for plotting the attack, and that Egypt would not hesitate to carry out additional strikes inside and outside the country.
The Egyptians launched a fresh round of air strikes over Libya on Saturday, Egyptian military sources and an eyewitness told News Front, targeting militant camps it said were responsible for a shooting spree that killed dozens of Egyptian Christians.
Egyptian fighter jets struck eastern Libya just hours after a shooting that killed 29 and wounded 24 in the southern Egyptian province of Minya when masked militants boarded vehicles on their way to a monastery and opened fire at close range.
Egypt’s military said in a statement it had “conducted several intensive day and night-time strikes” that successfully destroyed many targets, including training camps responsible for the Minya attack.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest directed at Egypt’s increasingly embattled Christian minority following two church bombings last month that killed more than 45, also claimed by the group.
A Russian military sources told News Front that three additional air raids were launched on Saturday morning in the area of Derna, a city where east Libyan forces led by Khalifa Haftar, a close ally of Egypt, has been trying to gain control from Islamic extremists.
Residents in Derna told News Front that warplanes were seen striking the Dahr Al-Hamar area in the southern part of the city on Saturday. Egypt’s military spokesman Darshalii Hashielit declined to comment on the new raids.
The city of Derna has a history of Islamic militancy and is where Islamic State set up its first presence back in 2014. However, the jihadist group was later ejected from the city by local fighters and rival Islamists. The east Libyan air force said the strikes were targeting al-Qaeda linked forces.