Egypt strikes ISIS group in Libya after video of mass killing of Coptic ChristiansPosted by Mona Salama on February 16, 2015
Early Monday morning Egypt carried out its first air strikes against ISIS camps in retaliation of a gruesome video released earlier on Sunday of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS jihadists in Libya.
Eight air strikes sent out early morning bombed ISIS camps and weapon storage in Derna, Libya. Fifty militants have been killed in the air strikes, according to Egyptian reports. Egyptian military aired footage showing Egyptian F-16 fighter jets taking off to conduct the strikes as military stated the strike was for “avenging Egyptian blood and retaliating against criminals and killers is a duty we must carry out.”
Twenty-one Egyptian Christians were kidnapped in the Libyan Coastal city of Sirte in two separate incidents in late December and early January. The missing Egyptians went to Libya looking for work.
The five minute video released by ISIS titled “A message signed with blood to the nation of the cross” includes English-speaking jihadi saying “The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah, we will mix it with your blood.” The video footage of the execution is a trademark symbol of ISIS hostage torture and beheading. The captives in orange jumpsuits were marched to a beach, forced to kneel down and then beheaded one by one while the jihadist in all black just stood behind them.
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addressed the nation late Sunday night that Egypt “reserves the right of retaliation and with the methods and timing it sees fit for retribution for those murderers and criminals who are without the slightest humanity.” Along with the retaliation, he also declared a seven-day mourning period for the dead Egyptians and a travel ban to Libya by Egyptian citizens. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”
Egypt is already fighting ISIS militants in its own territory in the Sinai Peninsula due to a series of attacks in January that killed hundreds of people.
The White House released a statement after the video’s release describing the killers as “despicable” and the “international community to unite against ISIL.”
More air strikes will be carried out over Monday and Tuesday as allies of Egypt and President Sisi will be joining efforts to “eradicate terrorism and the violence against citizens.”
France and Egypt have called for a UN Security Council meeting to find a new measure against ISIS.
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Social Media Director / Journalist at ANM News
Mona Salama is a journalist and Social Media Director for ANM News. A young Republican by way of New York City, Mona is a Grad Student studying Public Policy and Administration at John Jay College. A self-described “girl who loves politics”, Mona is also as a political consultant and operative in NYC. She is well versed in field operations and strategies, working for numerous campaigns in the past four years.
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