Some 200 dead – Egyptian troops, Islamists, civilians – in major ISIS-Egyptian battle in North Sinai
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant moved ominously close to Israel’s borders Wednesday, July 1 – not as predicted in the north, but in the south, from the Sinai Peninsula. There, ISIS followed up on its Ramadan terror outrages in France, Tunisia, Kuwait and Kobani, with a massive assault on Egyptian forces and reportedly capturing the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuwaid close to the Israeli and Gaza Strip borders. Confirmation of this would mean that the MFO facility at Gora is under ISIS siege. It would also mean that the Islamists had captured their first Egyptian town, a victory comparable to seizure of the Iraqi city of Ramadi. In the fierce 10-hour battle for the town, at least 200 Egyptian soldiers, terrorists and civilians were killed.
Not just a terrorist attack, ISIS launched a full-scale military offensive, starting with mortar fire and suicide bombings against five Egyptian military checkpoints.
Using a tactic similar to that employed in the capture of the Iraqi town of Ramadi last month, ISIS gunmen followed this initial assault by riding in on minivans, backed by heavy mortar fire, to storm the positions held by stunned Egyptian troops. Altogether some 20 Egyptian army positions were attacked in and around Sheikh Zuwaid.
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