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Saturday, August 10, 2013

(Israeli?) drone strike kills 4 jihadis in Sinai

A drone strike against jihadis who were about to launch rockets at southern Israel from northern Sinai on Friday may, or may not, have been carried out by Israel.
Egyptian security officials alleged that an Israeli drone strike today killed five jihadists near Rafah. "The officials say the attack was in cooperation with Egyptian authorities," the Associated Press reported. The jihadists were reportedly preparing to fire rockets toward Israel, according to Ma'an News Agency.
Agence France Presse cautioned that "[t]he source of the strike was not immediately clear." Turkish news agencies reported that Egyptian helicopters had carried out the attack that killed the jihadists. The Times of Israel similarly reported, based on comments from an Egyptian official, that "the strike was carried out by the Egyptian military, and not the IDF."
An Israeli official, however, reportedly confirmed to ABC News that Israel was responsible for the strike. Five Egyptian sources told Reuters that Israel was responsible for the strike, which they said killed four jihadists, not five.
Is this plausible? Definitely. If it was coordinated, would the Egyptians want to cover that fact? No question. Now, look what comes next.
A couple of hours later, the army released a new statement, which said the incident was still being investigated but that reports suggesting an Israeli drone was responsible were false.

"The claim that there is coordination between the Egyptian and Israeli sides on this matter is totally false and contrary to reason and logic," an army spokesman said.
Note - he doesn't deny that the Israelis did it. Only that it was coordinated with Egypt. Let's think about this logically. Four or five jihadis are about to launch rockets. They see a helicopter approaching in the distance. Wouldn't you think they'd try to hit the helicopter? But apparently, they didn't. Of course, it would be much harder to hit a drone....

But the claim of no coordination between Israel and Egypt is also totally false.
Today's incident comes a day after Israeli authorities closed Eilat's airport for a few hours due to a security assessment. Egyptian officials today said that a warning from them regarding plots by jihadists in the Sinai was shared with Israeli officials and led to the airport closure.

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