Egypt: Army Operation in Sinai "Well-Coordinated" with U.S. and Israel

(Ahram Online-Egypt) Dina Ezzat - An Egyptian military source said Sunday that since the attack that killed 16 Egyptian border guards three weeks ago, Egyptian security forces have executed an ongoing operation to eliminate militant cells on the borders. According to a military source, "Operation Eagle" is "well coordinated with both the Americans and Israelis." "The fact that contact between both sides has not been made known to the press does not mean it is not happening - actually it goes beyond mere information-sharing and includes efforts to coordinate." He added that these meetings are conducted on a daily basis by officers and "at times has included high-ranking personnel, including Minister of Defense [Abdel-Fattah] El-Sisi and his assistant General [Mohamed] El-Assar." El-Sisi, who was appointed defense minister less than a week ago, arrived in Rafah on Monday to personally follow up Operation Eagle. Yet eliminating the Islamist militant presence that has mushroomed in Sinai over the last few years is a tough mission that will take time, according to Mohamed Abdel-Salam, strategic analyst at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. According to the military source, once Operation Eagle is done, Egypt will return its deployment level to that outlined in the peace treaty with Israel. However, Egypt may well upgrade its intelligence functions in the region. Would this involve a renegotiation of the Camp David Accords to allow for a permanent increase of troops in the region? "Possibly," the military source answered.

2012-08-22 00:00:00

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