Egyptian Army Amasses Forces on Israel Border for Extensive Campaign Against ISIS

As ISIS collapses in Syria and Iraq, fighters stream into restive Sinai region. Now, Egypt is preparing a massive operation

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
Egyptian Army's soldiers fire artilleries during a launch of a major assault against militants in the troubled northern part of the Sinai peninsula in Al Arish, Egypt, in this undated handout picture made available by the Ministry of Defence, February 27, 2018. Ministry of Defence/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Egyptian Army's soldiers fire artilleries during a launch of a major assault against militants in the troubled northern part of the Sinai peninsula in Al Arish, EgyptCredit: \ HANDOUT/ REUTERS
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

The Egyptian military informed Israel it was preparing to launch a significant attack in the area bordering on Gaza, Israel and Sinai. Egyptian forces were amassing near the border with Israel, near Rafah.

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The area has been scene to a widespread operation against the Islamic State group affiliate in Sinai, Egypt's restive desert peninsula that shares a border with Israel and Gaza. ISIS in Sinai has grown substantially stronger as the group in Syria and Iraq collapses.

Many ISIS fighters have arrived in Sinai and are locked in a daily war with Egypt. The Egyptian offensive is coordinated with the Israeli army.

A burning vehicle is seen during a major assault against militants by Egyptian Army's soldiers in the troubled northern part of the Sinai peninsula in Al Arish, Egypt.Credit: \ HANDOUT/ REUTERS

The area is considered very sensitive and important to both Egypt and Israel, making coordination between them key.

Recently, the Israeli army unearthed a tunnel near the Kerem Shalom crossing next to Rafah. The tunnel, the army said, also reached into Israel and it is possible the offensive will address this as well.

Resident of the neighboring Israeli communities have received notice that in the coming days and weeks loud explosions would be heard from across the border in Egypt because of the operation.

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