Egypt’s Hidden War Against Islamic State Upends Lives in Sinai by Jared Malsin and Amira El-Fekki – Wall Street Journal
Egypt is waging a hidden war in the Sinai Peninsula, uprooting thousands of people as the Arab World’s largest land army attempts to strike a decisive blow against Islamic State’s deadly local affiliate.
Government troops have destroyed thousands of homes, burned farmland and cut off hundreds of thousands of residents with a seven-month blockade that left shortages of food and other goods until some restrictions were lifted in September.
As many as 20,000 families in North Sinai Governorate, the province in the northern part of the peninsula where the offensive is under way, have been forced to flee the fighting, said an Egyptian official monitoring the conflict.
The military launched the campaign in February on orders from President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to use “brute force” to crush the terrorists in the aftermath of an attack on a North Sinai mosque. That attack, in November 2017, killed more than 300 people.
Egyptian authorities can claim some recent success. Militant attacks in “mainland” Egypt have tapered since the end of last year and the military says it has killed more than 300 armed men since the campaign began…