And another big day not only in Egypt but also in Libya. Hours after the announcement of President Abdel Fattah EL-Sisi that Egypt got the right to retaliate for the murder of the 21 Coptic Egyptian migrant workers by Islamic state “IS” militants in the right time and place , we woke up on Monday to find that Egyptian air forces already conducted air strikes in Libya.
The Egyptian air forces conducted an airstrike against IS’ camps, training camps and arms depots in Libya according to the official armed forces’ statement on the official army Spox Facebook. The statement did not mention the location of the strike or a specific number of losses among IS militants. Just board general words and two videos showing air jet fighters taking off their hangers.
Hours later the Libyan armed forces issued a statement declaring that both Egyptian and Libyan air forces conducted airstrikes earlier today in the city of Derna, Eastern Libya. Through out the day the Libyans were the ones who were speaking and revealing information about the strike to the media. Needless to say we got two governments and two parliaments so you can imagine the confusion of who is who as well where.
Of course one must ask and wonder why the Egyptian air forces conducted an air strike on Derna and not Sirte where the Egyptian workers were kidnapped or Tripoli where they were beheaded according to the analysis of the video. I do not know why but I know that Derna was the first Libyan city to see an IS-affiliated militant group attempting to expand in the war-torn Libya. May be Derna was chosen because of it is close to Egypt and the decision to retaliate was needed to be taken quickly.
The Libyan armed forces and its men who spoke to Egyptian TV channels all day long claimed that nearly 64 IS militants were killed in the air strikes including 12 foreign fighters.
|The Islamic Police HQ in Derna By Johr Ali|
The Libyan air forces commander also admitted that there were civilian casualties among the killed including two women and a child in the air strikes conducted by Libyan air forces not by Egyptian air forces. This comes at the same time Libyan Facebook pages and twitter accounts in addition to Al Jazeera TV channels reporting that Children were killed in the Egyptian air strike. The photos of the victims caused a controversy because a Libyan Facebook page claimed that there were for children who died from several months ago when it already the page itself uploaded the photo earlier !! There is a crazy debate about the photos up till this now on the social media.
Strangely but not so surprisingly hours later the spokesperson of Libyan forces spokesperson denied there were any civilians casualties in the air strikes at all.
Derna is a city and from what I understand the targets of the air strikes were in the city itself so it is highly possible and likely to have civilian casualties.Already army sources say the weapons depots were hidden in the buildings.
|After the strike "Johr Ali"|
There were news that Egyptian air forces conducted another air strike in the afternoon but there was nothing in the official spokesperson’s Facebook page.
The other Libyan army following the other Parliament aka Islamists' GNC will retaliate against "General Sisi" denying that there is IS-affiliated group in the first place in Libya !!!
This is just crazy, I swear it is surreal. IS-affiliated groups are in Derna and Sirte and yet they deny it !!!
Now I am amazed at the speed of planning those airstrikes to the level that I wonder if our intelligence knew what was going to happen in those 45 days following the abduction of those workers and the armed forces planned in advance that strike.
You can imagine how the armed forces videos and those announcements made many Egyptians happy and proud. Today nationalist sentiments reached to the moon for real. The radio and TV kept airing nationalist patriotic songs all day long. The social media in Egypt is on fire. It was also full of rumors like Egypt would start a ground operation and would send its 999 special forces. This claim was denied later by sources in both Egyptian and Libyan armed forces. I think we should not open the Libyan front when things in Egypt are not stable.
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s popularity soared today as the leader who acted quickly to avenge for Egyptians , still the implications of his action today will be a bigger test for his quick airstrike. With over 100,000 Egyptians workers in Libya that should be evacuated , there will be a bigger challenge for him.
Personally I believe those airstrikes were to calm down the Egyptian public opinion after the horrifying video at the same they are official announcement that we are involved in Libya directly after months of denying involvement.
I do not know what is going in the backstage , I do not care that much about the the MB&Qatar Vs. Egypt&UAE as all what I care for is we do not get involved in another Yemen war in the 21st century or rather a Libya war. I feel it is like trap.
Libyan Herald already claimed that at least 35 Egyptians have been abducted. There is news also that the Egyptian embassy in Tripoli was torched by IS supporters. The embassy was already closed since the kidnap of Egyptian diplomats last year.