Ten regular soldiers along with seven militants of the state-sponsored tribal militias were killed and wounded in successive attacks by Wilayet Sinai, local ISIS branch, on separate areas of North Sinai Governorate, including the city of Al-Arish, according to military medical sources. These numbers represent heavy losses in the ranks of the military forces and the forces supporting them. According to sources, the size of the losses is being obscured by the Army Operations Command in Sinai.
The army has lost thousands of its officers and soldiers during the last decade as a result of the war between the Egyptian security establishment and the Islamic State in Sinai. However, recent months have witnessed an unprecedented state of calm, as a result of the weakness of the Islamic State in general in the region, as well as the massive military operations that the Egyptian army has repeatedly carried out in recent years. A researcher in Sinai affairs, who preferred not to be named, expressed his fear that these casualties would be the beginning of a setback for this state of calm, adding that the return of ISIS to strike hard in different areas indicates its continued ability to operate, despite the blows it suffered during the last year.
Many of the army’s military operations over the past years had failed to completely eliminate ISIS in Sinai, despite the cooperation between the Egyptian and Israeli armies in pursuing the organization and killing its leaders.