Ahead of Sisi-Trump meeting, Egypt plays up Sinai anti-terror feats

In advance of Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi’s first meeting with US President Donald Trump Monday in the White House, Cairo has catalogued its latest military operations against the Ansar Beit-al Maqdis, the Islamic State’s Sinai branch. In the last 48 hours, the Egyptian air force conducted intense bombardments of ISIS concentrations around the northern town of El Arish, killing at least 14 terrorists, nabbing 22 and seizing large caches of roadside bombs. The Egyptian army also announced that an air strike knocked off the organization’s training chief last month.

DEBKAfile’s military sources can’t however confirm Cairo’s claim that Egypt’s Third Army was able to scale the towering Jabal Halal mountain range in central Sinai and seize the terror group’s headquarters on its summit. This target, which can only be reached by foot, has evaded several attempts. The talks between the Egyptian and US presidents are expected to focus strongly on the war on Islamist terror.

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