Egyptian army deploys some 3,000 soldiers and more than two armored battalions, including dozens of tanks and at least 10 attack helicopters to clear out more than 50 terrorist compounds in the central and northern parts of the peninsula.
The Egyptian military began staging an offensive over the weekend to clean out the terrorist networks in the Sinai Peninsula.
The goal of the operation, dubbed “Desert Storm,” is to clear out the more than 50 terrorist compounds located mostly in the northern and central parts of the peninsula.
Some 3,000 soldiers and more than two armored battalions, including dozens of tanks and at least 10 attack helicopters, which had been moved into the peninsula in recent months, received the green light on Friday to commence the attack.
Sixty Bedouin tribes in Sinai reached agreements with the military and gave their assurance that they would not take part in the fighting. At least five army positions in northern Sinai and el-Arish were attacked over the weekend by militants armed with assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades, one officer was killed and dozens of soldiers were wounded.
Media outlets reported that the military uncovered an arms cache in Sinai which contained large quantities of weapons as well as Grad rockets. A Palestinian and a Syrian were arrested on site for reportedly smuggling the weapons from the Gaza Strip.