ISIS establishes its foothold in Sinai.

“Before Islamist militants attacked the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid last week, they smothered it with largess. A local group that claims allegiance to Islamic State handed out flour to help relieve food shortages during frequent clampdowns by the military over the last two years. They distributed cash to make up for income lost in recent unrest and offered U.S. dollar salaries to lure young men to their ranks, according to residents.”

“The handouts, coupled with long-standing grievances of government neglect in the area, have helped Islamic State embed in the strategic peninsula between Israel and mainland Egypt—one of the most sensitive parts of Middle East. As a result, the sparsely populated and largely lawless desert that was once a buffer between former foes Egypt and Israel has now become a liability for both countries.”

“The pivotal position of Sheikh Zuweid came into sharp focus last week when the Islamic State affiliate that calls itself the Province of Sinai killed at least 21 Egyptian soldiers in an attack, according to the military. The military, which has severely restricted access to the area, says more than 200 militants were killed over three days of fighting in a bid to take the town last week.” (Coordination Center)


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