Egyptian Chronicles: Dummies guide to What happened in Sheikh Zuweid “That Wednesday”

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Dummies guide to What happened in Sheikh Zuweid “That Wednesday”

Last Wednesday North Sinai witnessed a true battle if I may say between the Egyptian armed forces and the IS-affiliated Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis “ABM” for several hours. It was indeed the longest battle North Sinai specifically the city of Sheikh Zuweid has seen since decades if I am not mistaken.
I covered it for my work back in Cairo and I think it was better to wait at least 48 hours to write about it here so things could be clearer.
This is the first part of my posts about the Battle of Sheikh Zuweid.

The facts we have got:

  • Early Wednesday morning , at 8:06 AM Sky News Arabia TV channel reported on twitter that 5 security checkpoints were attacked.
    Sheikh Zuweid police station
  • At 8.59 AM, Sky News Arabia reported that not less ten army personnel were killed and injured in attack of a bombed car at one of the checkpoints in Sinai.After that by nearly 15 minutes the news channel reported that 30 military personnel were killed and injured in an attack on two checkpoints.
  • Nearly 25 minutes later, the channel quotes an official source that more than 30 military personnel were injured and killed in an attack on two checkpoints in North Sinai.
  • At the same time , Pro-Regime Al-Watan published news on its website that the El-Rafaei military checkpoint was wiped out completely and all its soldiers and officers were killed according to Sky News Arabia. I have not seen that news on Sky News Arabia’s different twitter accounts to be honest.
  • At 9: 45 AM , Sky News Arabia reported on twitter that not less than 60 Egyptian military were killed. The number was shocking and unprecedented. Almost all newspapers and websites like Tahrir website took the news from Sky News Arabia. The Emirates-based news network proved to be trustworthy when it comes to military news in Egypt as well news from Sinai. The channel itself is close to the regime and to the army so everybody took the news without a second thought. At the same international News wires services began to speak about not less 30 security casualties above them Reuters and its Cairo-based Aswat Masriya website.
  • At 9:56 AM, the official Egyptian armed forces spokesperson Brigadier General Mohamed Samir issued that short statement on his official Facebook page.

صباح اليوم الموافق 1 / 7 /2015 ... قام عدد من العناصر الإرهاببية [تشير المعلومات الأولية أنها تقدر بحوالى (70) عنصر إرها...
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية للمتحدث العسكري للقوات المسلحة‎ on Wednesday, July 1, 2015
“In the early hours of 1/7/2015 a group of terrorists “Initial information estimates with 70 terrorists” launched a concurrent attacks on five checkpoints.Out troops fought back immediately the terrorists and killed from them 22 and destroyed three {Land cruiser} carrying anti-craft missiles. Ten of the armed forces brave men have been injured and killed so far. Our troops are still chasing the terrorists and sweeping the areas around the checkpoints. The clashes are still go on.”
  • As the news became viral, the Islamic State-affiliated Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis or as it is known now “Waliyat Sinai” issued a statement on Social media networks claiming responsibility of the attacks in what I considered the fastest issued by the Sinai-based terrorist group. It usually took days if not weeks when that militant group issues a statement. 
“ In glorious conquest, the lions of the caliphate
unleashed concurrent attacks on more than 15 security and military positions. The Brothers carried out three suicidal attacks on The Officers club in Al-Arish and Rafaei and Abu Sedra checkpoints in Sheikh Zuweid. The was also parallel attack using heavy and light weaponry as well mortars in the following checkpoints {Al-Masoora, Sadoot, Wali Lavi , Al-Wafaq , Abu-Tawila , El-Daraab , Sheikh Zuwied police station , The oil station in Kharouba,Obediat , Abr Ameir , Asaaf , Al-Bawaba and Shalak}
Several positions were fully controlled and missiles were used to fact the positions and to cut the way on reinforcements as well to fight back the Egyptian air forces forcing them to escape.” 
  • After an hour ABM published another statement announcing that they besieging the Sheikh Zuwied police station and continued to attack other checkpoints “El-Gora , El-Zohair, Aseedi, El-Wahashi” with mortars. It also claimed that it bombed two Egyptian army armored vehicles on Sheikh Zuweid-Al Arish highways.
  • Things were escalating fast because we are no longer speaking about attacks but rather storming the city of Sheikh Zuweid and attempt to besiege its police station , the true symbol of Egyptian official regime in any governorate especially in small cities.The Islamic State has a sinister plan in Sinai.
  • In three or four hours things were developing rapidly but the Egyptian TV channels acted as if what happened was in Mars not even in another country !!!!
  • At the same time reports coming from local Sinai correspondents like Ahmed Abu Daraa , Mostafa Singer and Online North Sinai-based journalist Mona El-Zamlout drew a very grim picture as ambulances could not reach to the injured whether military or civilians because ABM planted Explosives IEDs on the highways between Al-Arish and Rafah. The health officials in North Sinai governorate do not answer the reporters’ calls. News from governorates like Ismailia came saying that the hospitals in the coastal city were all on alert due what is happening in North Sinai.
  • The battle of Sheikh Zuweid began to catch attention as now eye witnesses as well Mostafa Singer who lives in the city began to send reports about ABM militants were seen roaming the city with weapons and occupying houses and rooftops in order to hunt down security forces personnel. Several locals were killed because they refused the ABM militants to use their homes. The center of the battle was the Sheikh Zuweid.
  • Many began tot suspect the reports coming from North Sinai claiming that there is no mobile network and completely communication blackout there. Well that was not completely true. First according to my own sources , there was a weak mobile phone coverage in the city of Sheikh Zuweid and already the people there use the Palestinian and Israeli Mobile phone networks because they are stronger than the Egyptian networks.
  • At 2:15 PM, the Egyptian armed forces official Spox issued a short statement on his FB page saying that the Egyptian air forces bombed 2 gatherings for the terrorists in North Sinai. He added the clashes were still going on.

فى إطار متابعة أعمال المطاردة وإستهداف العناصر الإرهابية المتورطة فى الهجوم الإرهابى على إرتكازات عناصر قطاع تأمين شمال ...
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية للمتحدث العسكري للقوات المسلحة‎ on Wednesday, July 1, 2015
  • At 3: 15 PM , Mohamed Samir issued a statement or rather posted two aerial photos showing the Egyptian air forces’ jet fighters attacking alleged terrorist vehicles.  

صور لإستهداف عدد من عربات العناصر الإرهابية أثناء محاولتهم الهرب ...ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية للمتحدث العسكري للقوات المسلحة‎ on Wednesday, July 1, 2015
  • Since there had been no official statement with world news websites about military casualties reaching to 70. News coming from Sheikh Zuweid speaks about Egyptian Air Forces F16’s strikes against the ABM militants who besieged the Sheikh Zuweid police station. Complete silence for several hours.
  • At 9:25 The Egyptian armed forces announced in a video statement that on 6:55 AM Wednesday 70 militants attacked several security checkpoints in Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid in concurrent attacks. The statement added that the Egyptian armed forces as well the Egyptian air forces engaged in a fight with those militants killing not less than 100. SCAF also announced that only 17 army personnel including 4 officers were killed and that other 13 were injured including an officers. No mention for civilian or police casualties.
    بيان من القيادة العامة للقوات المسلحة..ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ
    Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية للمتحدث العسكري للقوات المسلحة‎ on Wednesday, July 1, 2015
  • That night Egyptian armed forces Spox went on a tour on TV shows warning the citizens from foreign news wires, channels and newspapers saying that Egyptian armed forces were facing the media and terrorists on that day. People should only listen and wait for the official statements only.
  • That also night Samir posted photos of ABM militants’ dead corpses on his official Facebook page.
  • That what happened officially on Wednesday. Below a storify report for the Sky News Arabia Now’s twitter account and its coverage for the attack. The day was saved thankfully
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5 comments :

  1. As far as the casualty count is concerned there are all the signs that the very high number of 70 or 90 casualties are pure intoxication from some media from the left or hard left allied with islamists. Some were quoting health sources, were others senior military sources as if they were embedded with the troops and if senior officers had nothing else to do than to feed alrmist news to them. Their objective was to destabilise the state as they never miss an opportunity to engage in hostile actions against us. I'd like very much to hear plausible reason why media such as Guardian, AJ, Washington post, Le Monde etc would not do it .
    Other media just reproduced those lies for sensationalism of due to copycat, lazyness etc,
    DailyNewsEgypt published for three days in a row front page headline that Sheikh Zuweid was under siege before explaining several paragraph deep down that it was the police station which was under siege.
    The army declared 17 martys, later unfortunatly rising to 21 martyrs.The list of the martyrs was published in Masry el Yom and the farewells and funerals of the martyrs were held in front on tens of thousands mourners in every corner of the country. Don't you think that if in fact there were 70 deaths that would mean that the 49 other casualties would be hidden, and 49 families would not see their sons again while also knowing that the official casualty list ignored thair names. Would'nt them and the whole country ask dramatic questions about that ? In fact the entire army process could not be more transparent.
    One more facts: despite the media lies the foreign readers talkbacks were hugely supportive of our struggle and some even accused the so-called journalists of being ONE OF THEM i.e: complicit with the IS monsters.
    Any ' journalist' that talk those terrorists coakroaches up is not one of us, but certainly ONE OF THEM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you read comments by far right loons, you will see that a huge amount of them hate Egyptians and all Arabs/Africans/Muslims. They most certainly do not support the struggle of any of these countries. They have hated all Arab countries for decades and it is not going to change very soon.

      Delete
    2. I am referring to mainstream talkback reactions to biased, intoxication read from hostile mainstream liberal left i.e. WP,Lemonde in those media. Same thing from masinstream conservative WSJ, Washington times, Fox news etc. 90% of similar talkbacks support our struggle in pronounced resolute way and often condemn the biased reporters in an insulting, contemptuous incriminating way. Same thing for mainstream tea party media like Briebart or blogs from conservative think tanks.
      Example: Comment in Le monde from French reader: Beware To those attacking Egypt. We know who they are supporting . Comment from WP on an editorial by Michelle Dunne from US reader: Rascal go back to your think tank. Yesterday comment in Daily Beast from a US reader about a vicious attack on Egypt and in defence of the terrorists by an obscure hostile writer and shadi hamid the brotherhood plant at Quarter based Brookings institute: 'It's clear she is ONE OF THEM'

      In WSJ, Breibart and others similear US writers support us and talkbacks strongly appreciate that support and attack the rare hostile talkbacks most often by terrorists brotherhood plants.

      Far right loons are of course hostile because they live by their narratives and will not abandont. They are not important. Conservative (Fox News), even strongly conservative (i.e.Breibart) and mainstream talkbacks support us clearly.

      Those who are hostile are the leftists, liberal terrorist allies and often bought media. They are clearly hostile to us but many many readers now see through that.
      Of course the maniacs who read Guardian and AJ are the left, fascist religious loonies equivalent or worse to the far right ones

      Delete
  2. Far-right hate is a money making scam. The rise of ISIS hasn't stopped it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Once ISIS is gone, American foreign policy will diverge from the Arab regimes, leading to even more tension between the two.

    ReplyDelete

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