Israel and Egypt: The next ISIS conquests?
Last year Hamas lit up the Israeli sky with a barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip, aimed at civilian targets. This year the bombs bursting in air were fired from northern Sinai by a new enemy: the Islamic Caliphate, aka ISIL, ISIS and various other aliases and euphemisms. These are the guys with the black and white flag who have been chopping off heads in the name of Allah in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Nigeria, France and other locales.
Now they are right next door.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, forces of the Caliphate launched a very well organized surprise attack on Egyptian soldiers and police in the Sinai Peninsula. The operation bore the organization’s familiar trademarks: the black and white flag, decapitations, mutilations and the bloodthirsty rhetoric of jihad.
The Caliphate is no longer someone else’s problem. Israel, for the first time, is in range, and Israeli strategists are just starting to come to terms with what that means.
Israel and Egypt, which share the Sinai border and cooperate on security and intelligence matters, were both caught off guard. The troops of Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi launched a bloody and successful counterattack, but that engagement was just the beginning of what appears to be a new theater of Caliphate conquest.
A spokesman for the group announced that it had fired at Israel because of its ties to Egypt. The missiles themselves landed in empty fields, but they hit their target. The Caliphate is no longer someone else’s problem. Israel, for the first time, is in range, and Israeli strategists are just starting to come to terms with what that means.
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