Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dummies guide to what happened in Sheikh Zuweid : The Aftermath

Wednesday was saved for really thanks to the Egyptian air forces which gave IS militants in Sinai one hell of an unforgettable night or rather lesson for real. This is post is the second one about what happened in Sheikh Zuweid. There are lots of stuff that happened and are happening that need to be read again and again and to be talked about again and again because what happened is alarming

Sheikh Zuweid trapped in the crossfire

Now here is quick info about the city of Sheikh Zuweid which found itself in the heart of a crossfire it was not ready for by any means.
Located between the cities of Al-Arish  and Rafah , the city is inhibited by not less than 60,000 people according to Wikipedia. I tried to search in the Central Agency for public Mobilization and Statistics “CAPMAS” but I failed to get the simple info I am seeking about the total population in its new shiny website. So yes , one was worried things would escalate dramatically and the Egyptian air forces “EAF” would unleash the hell to stop IS militants from putting their black flag on Sheikh Zuweid police station at any cost.
At least 4 civilians were killed in the attack last Wednesday. There were also reports at least two civilians including a senior citizen were killed by the ABM militants on Wednesday because they did not let them use their homes and rooftops.
Sheikh Zuweid on map
The city needs aid now urgent according to Sheikh Zuweid and veteran Sinai correspondent Mostafa Singer , an urgent aid in everything whether medical supplies or food supplies. Already on Friday, militants bombed the electricity station in the city killing two workers at the station and forcing it to go into darkness.
According to Singer and other locals reporting from Sheikh Zuweid , the electricity company workers are another unsung heroes in the city along with doctors and paramedics.
A photo from the city by Ayman Mohsen after the clashes
Many of its local residents are leaving their houses and the cities moving to Al-Arish to escape that on-going war between the army and militants , just like their brothers in Rafah who were forced to evacuate their homes as part of that security plan.
Nevertheless,  some people in the city refuse to leave especially from the elderly as well youth.

Needless to say, some pro-regime supporters want to force evacuation in Sheikh Zuweid after Rafah. Well terrorist attacks did not stop after evacuating Rafah, this is a fact
A photo shows the empty street of Sheikh Zuwed by Ayman Mohsen
Some of those supporters went too far and called for the total genocide for the locals in Sinai because of the militants !!!!!! Those guys do not know that genocides are war crimes that can not be justified under any law.
Ironically those stupid people “yes stupid” do not know that they are emptying North Sinai from its local population is extremely dangerous on Egypt’s true National security.
The people of Sinai , especially in North Sinai suffered long time marginalization , they should not be marginalized anymore.
They also suffer from extreme bad stereotyping in the mainstream media.
Earlier Wednesday Prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab went to Al-Arish city to visit the injured soldiers and to boost the morale of the troops at the security checkpoints.
I think  El-Sisi should visit North Sinai and see the real people there. He can bring the rest of the 98.5% of the army for protection to send a message to the residents of Sheikh Zuweid and the world as well the terrorists that nobody misses with Egyptian people as well cities and towns.
I do not care if he wears military or civilian but as what is important is the message that will be sent to the whole world from such visit.
It would be great to let the journalists into the city.
I follow on Facebook those two young men from the city of Sheikh Zuweid : Ayman Mohsen , who works as a documentary filmmaker and Aseer El-Senaway.
The Egyptian air forces air strikes are still showering the area to hunt down the militants and of course, there is a collateral damage.

The Media, the truth and numbers

There is a huge attack on the media whether local or foreign as well local correspondents in North Sinai after the announcement of the Official armed Spox Mohamed Samir that people should not take their information from foreign media. The whole issue revolves about the number of the Egyptian army casualties. The numbers of the Egyptian army numbers hit the ceiling and reached to 60 and 70 killed according to military sources that spoke to TV channels and newspapers throughout the day till the Egyptian armed forces issued its final statement saying that only 17 were killed.
I think I spoke more about that issue in the previous post about the attack.
I can say there is still confusion about the final number and the official numbers. The fact that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Mon issued a statement to mourn Egypt’s fallen 70 soldiers just like Italian PM repeating the number in his official statement on his official Facebook page made many people wonder about the truth after all we are speaking the UN Secretary General.
Either those guys took the number of Reuters and did not take the number of the number of the government, which means they do not trust our official statements or they got the number from trusted sources !!!
Well when it comes to that dilemma, there are two points that should be highlighted.
  1. There has been a true confusion about the final death of the Egyptian army personnel in particular because as it turned out from the graphic photos posted by the army Spox on his official FB page showing the dead bodies of the militants, those militants were wearing a similar Khaki Camouflage army uniform. Many mixed between them and the Egyptian army personnel who also wear  Khaki camouflage but with a different pattern.
  2. You cannot hide the number 70 for too long because we are speaking about 70 families that will speak sooner or later and there will be funerals.  
  3. The number 70 could be a combination of armed forces, police “policemen wear khaki outside Cairo as well”, civilians and militants.
Officially on Wednesday, the armed forces stated that only 17 army personnel including 4 officers were killed. On Thursday, we found out that there were 20 funerals held in different governorates.
On Saturday, Egypt’s health ministry issued an official statement that the death toll among Egyptian military increased 21. We do not know if those 4 were found on Friday or had their funerals held on Thursday or Friday.
Here is a complete list of names of the martyrs killed on that day according to official sources.That list is complied by Al-Masry Al-Youm journalist Omar El-Hady.

قائمة شهداء هجمات الشيخ زويد الإرهابية: 21 عسكريًا و4 مدنيينمساء يوم الهجوم الأربعاء 1 يوليو 2015: الجيش أعلن استشهاد...
Posted by Omar Elhady on Friday, July 3, 2015

The list includes four civilians who are confirmed to be killed during the clashes including a 9-years old boy. There has not been either an official statement about the police force casualties.People are spreading news on Facebook page that two police officers were killed on the attack of Sheikh Zuwied police station. Realistically speaking the police must have casualties after that militant besiege at the police station.
By the way there has been no official national mourning for the fallen soldiers or civilians killed in that attack unlike what happened with late Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat.
Anyhow back to our main point , currently there is a vicious campaign against foreign and independent media.
What happened in the coverage of that attack is currently being used by the Pro-regime media and regime itself to pass the Anti-Terrorism draft law. The highly controversial law rejected by The Journalists syndicate in Egypt can send journalists in Egypt to jail for publishing news that contradicts the official statements of the government.
Now there is a new battle between journalists who defend freedom of press and information and the Egyptian regime that is using politically what happened in Sheikh Zuweid politically to pass this unconstitutional draft law.


  1. How can you speak with such certainty about anything related to what happened. There is no way you can be able to credibly say so and so happened when the only sources for your information are either the military - and you have no ability to say whether they are telling the truth or not, and for example how do you know all those photos of dead takfiris are from 2 or 3 years ago, or maybe from another city, or anything else, how can you have any confidence the army, and by implication all the official media are telling the truth? At the same time, the other source of your information is from completely unsubstantiated third, fourth and fifth hand information because no one was allowed in there, no one until now has been allowed in, so how do you or anyone know what happened at all there? So in essence the only real source of information is the military, and you can be sure they are providing the information and account of what happened exactly to fit the story they want people to believe, irrespective of facts. You speak with such certainty about what happened during and after as if you or anyone has first hand knowledge. You need to be much more circumspect and careful when you are taking other people's second hand information and presenting it as "what actually happened"

  2. ElSisi went wearing his military uniform
    his speech is in YouTube.


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