Egypt's Sinai region has long been a hotbed of extremist activity, but people living in the area are staying strong against terrorist groups.
Despite the constant terrorist attacks that targets both Muslim and Christian Egyptians, the residents of the Sinai region remain steadfast against ISIS’ threats.
Recently the Egyptian army clashed with ISIS militants in a checkpoint in Sinai, which led to the killing of at least 15 ISIS members. This operation came three days after ISIS militants attacked the Egyptian army, killing 14 security personnel and injuring others.
The attack led to widespread condemnation by both Egyptian officials and citizens, who said that these attacks would not divide them.
“These groups and factions are trying to spread discord in Egypt. This is unacceptable,” said an Egyptian official. “There have been many previous attempts, but the last one, unfortunately, was the killing and slaughter of some Christians in Arish.”
Christian citizens said that these actions will not affect their relationships with their Muslim counterparts and that they will remain united against terrorism.
While the issues in the Sinai Peninsula began in 2011, in 2014 the situation escalated immensely after a jihadist group announced its allegiance to ISIS claiming the area to be ISIS’ “Sinai Wilayah”.
Since then the Egyptian security services began launching operations against the ISIS cells hiding throughout the province.
While these operations have been successful in curbing their complete takeover, the militants continue to pose a threat to the Christian and Muslim residents of Sinai, in addition to the security forces stationed there.
After a series of attacks that targeted the Coptic Christian churches, the Egyptian Government announced that they would be strengthening the security services in Sinai to defeat the militant group.
Despite posing a threat to Egypt, ISIS’ power and reach has been waning since its defeat in Iraq in December 2017. Furthermore, with the near defeat of ISIS in Syria, the militant group’s “caliphate” has declined immensely.
This development will have an effect on Egypt’s ISIS affiliate, which will not have the same support they once had from the ISIS propaganda machine
With the decline of the militant group worldwide, and the strengthened security measures that the Egyptian forces are undertaking, many hope that this will be the end of ISIS’ threat in Egypt.