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Egypt steps up military operations in Sinai ahead of elections

The timing of an anti-terror military operation launched in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has raised questions about President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s motives ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for March.
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CAIRO — Col. Tamer al-Rifai, the spokesman for the Egyptian army, announced in a televised statement Feb. 9 that the Egyptian army, in cooperation with the police, launched a comprehensive anti-terrorism operation in the Sinai Peninsula under the name Operation Sinai 2018. This called into question the timing of the campaign, which comes one month ahead of the presidential elections in which Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be running for a second term.

Sisi praised the operation and said on his Facebook page Feb. 9, “I proudly follow up the heroic acts of my sons in the armed forces and the police to purge the precious land of Egypt of terrorist elements who are enemies of life.”

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