Keep Your Eye On The Sinai

There are more balls to watch in the air then ever–or so it seems.

Over the months reports of Egyptian forces making attempts to bring rouge parts of the Sinai under control have caught my attention.    In the past roughly year-and-a-half since the military ousted President Morsi (which I viewed as a mistake since a proper election was conducted and all should want to allow for democratic processes to play out) the Sinai has become the center of a campaign of retaliatory attacks on Egyptian security forces.  There may be huge economic hurdles for newly installed Predient Sisi to deal with but let me be clear in stating there is no more significant challenge facing this military-booted ruler than the Sinai.   Places like the Sinai may seem a great deal of miles away, and hardly worth thinking about–given the gravity of under inflated footballs for Americans to worry about–but this is one area of the world that never can be taken for granted.

Yesterday the ongoing tensions made for bolder headlines.

Assailants armed with rocket-propelled grenades, car bombs and mortar rounds attacked police stations and military installations in the restive Sinai Peninsula on Thursday night, killing at least 20 people, the Egyptian military and state media said.

The coordinated attacks, which wounded dozens, were reportedly still in progress early Friday morning in Egypt, hours after they began. The Associated Press reported at least 26 people were killed.

Egypt’s military spokesman blamed the Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood. But Twitter statements by the extremist movement Islamic State’s offshoot in Sinai claimed responsibility and offered details on targets and weapons used.

The Islamic State offshoot in Sinai, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis or Supporters of Jerusalem, said it had attacked nine military and police sites in the northern Sinai towns of Rafah, El Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, according to tweets.

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