Secret Alliance: Israel Carrying Out Airstrikes In Egypt, With Cairo’s O.K.

This unusual alliance is targeting ISIS in the Sinai.  It is remarkable that this has remained secret for two years, although there have been rumors.

For more than two years, unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 airstrikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week — and all with the approval of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The remarkable cooperation marks a new stage in the evolution of their singularly fraught relationship. Once enemies in three wars, then antagonists in an uneasy peace, Egypt and Israel are now secret allies in a covert war against a common foe.

Egyptian military were failing to stop ISIS in the Sinai.

For Cairo, the Israeli intervention has helped the Egyptian military regain its footing in its nearly five-year battle against the militants. For Israel, the strikes have bolstered the security of its borders and the stability of its neighbor.

Their collaboration in the North Sinai is the most dramatic evidence yet of a quiet reconfiguration of the politics of the region. Shared enemies like ISIS, Iran and political Islam have quietly brought the leaders of several Arab states into growing alignment with Israel — even as their officials and news media continue to vilify the Jewish state in public.

American officials say Israel’s air campaign has played a decisive role in enabling the Egyptian armed forces to gain an upper hand against the militants. But the Israeli role is having some unexpected consequences for the region, including on Middle East peace negotiations, in part by convincing senior Israeli officials that Egypt is now dependent on them even to control its own territory.

Iran throwing its weight around the Middle East has Sunni Arab countries seeing Israel in a different light and useful.

Spokesmen for the Israeli and Egyptian militaries declined to comment, and so did a spokesman for the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Both neighbors have sought to conceal Israel’s role in the airstrikes for fear of a backlash inside Egypt, where government officials and the state-controlled media continue to discuss Israel as a nemesis and pledge fidelity to the Palestinian cause…

Some American supporters of Israel complain that, given Egypt’s reliance on the Israeli military, Egyptian officials, diplomats and state-controlled news media should stop publicly denouncing the Jewish state, especially in international forums like the United Nations.

“You speak with Sisi and he talks about security cooperation with Israel, and you speak with Israelis and they talk about security cooperation with Egypt, but then this duplicitous game continues,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee. “It is confusing to me.  NYTimes

Moscow: Bomb Caused Crash Of Russian Plane In Egypt’s Sinai

In this image released by the Prime Minister's office, Sherif Ismail, right, looks at the remains of a crashed passenger jet in Hassana Egypt, Friday, Oct. 31, 2015. A Russian aircraft carrying 224 people, including 17 children, crashed Saturday in a remote mountainous region in the Sinai Peninsula about 20 minutes after taking off from a Red Sea resort popular with Russian tourists, the Egyptian government said. There were no survivors.(Suliman el-Oteify, Egypt Prime Minister's Office via AP)

The Russian plane crash in the Sinai was caused by a terrorist attack, traces of explosives have been found in the wreckage of the plane.

“We can say that that [Sinai plane crash] was a terror act,” Bortnikov told Putin. According to the FSB chief, experts analyzed passengers’ belongings as well as the parts of the plane. “After the examination on all these objects, we have found traces of a foreign-made explosive substance,” Bortnikov said.

“During the flight, a homemade device with the power of 1.5 kilograms of TNT was detonated. As a result, the plane fell apart in the air, which can be explained by the huge scattering of the fuselage parts of the plane,” he added.

President Putin has vowed to avenge the perpetrators.

This not the first time that Russia has faced “barbarous terrorist crimes, more often without apparent causes, outside or domestic, as it was with the explosion at the railway station in Volgograd at the end of 2013,” He added: “We haven’t forgotten anything or anyone. The murder of our nationals in Sinai is among the bloodiest crimes in [terms of] the number of casualties.”

But Russia won’t be “wiping tears from our soul and heart,” he said. “This [tragedy] will stay with us forever. But this won’t stop us from finding and punishing the culprit.”

Vladimir Putin has vowed to find and punish the culprits behind the Sinai plane attack. “Our military work in Syria must not only continue. It must be strengthened in such a way so that the terrorists will understand that retribution is inevitable,” he said.RT

Egypt Floods Smuggling Tunnels Leading From Sinai To The Gaza Strip

In an effort to stamp out terrorist activity Egypt has flooded smuggling tunnels leading from the Sinai to the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian forces flooded smuggling tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah on Friday in a reported attempt to stamp out terror activity.

Authorities feared the tunnels, which lead from Sinai to the Gaza Strip, would allow for smuggling by Islamist militants between the blockaded Palestinian enclave, according to a report by DPA.

The military pumped water from the Mediterranean Sea into the pipes of the underground cross-border tunnels in an effort to curb the use of the passages in their entirety. DailyMail