Africa Egypt tribe to tighten noose around Sinai militants

Egypt tribe to tighten noose around Sinai militants

 sinai(AA) – A Sinai chieftain said Wednesday that his tribe would not be part of any armed struggle against a Daesh-linked group in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which shares borders with both Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Sheikh Moussa al-Dalh said that the Tarabin tribe would only prevent the Welayet Sinai (Province of Sinai) from receiving supplies.

“My tribe will not substitute the Egyptian state,” al-Dalh told The Anadolu Agency.

The Egyptian army has been cracking down on Sinai militants for almost two years now.

The government says the campaign is paying off, but repeated militant attack against security and army personnel attest to the enormity of militancy as a challenge for Egypt’s full security sovereignty over the parched peninsula.

Active in northern Sinai, the Welayet Sinai, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, acquired its current name after reportedly swearing allegiance to Daesh, which last year seized control of vast swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.

The group claimed responsibility for most attacks against police and army personnel in the peninsula in recent months.

A few days ago, the group killed a member of the Tarabin tribe, one of major tribes in Sinai, pitting itself against the tribe.

Recently, the radical group blew up the house of one of the Tarabin chieftains in revenge of the tribe.

Al-Dalh called the blowing up of the house both “unethical” and “unmanly.”

“We defend our dignity,” al-Dalh told AA, going on to say that his tribe would take a number of measures to help the government fight the group.

He noted that other Sinai tribes agree with his tribe on the need for tightening the noose around militants in the area.

“Tarabin is not the surrogate of anybody,” al-Dalh said. “We only want to serve the best interests of our country,” he added.

Al-Dalh revealed that his tribe had given other tribes ten days to tighten the noose around the radical group, noting that this would be done by preventing it from receiving supplies, including fuel.

He said that the Sinai tribes would also renounce members who support the Daesh-linked group.

On Tuesday, tribal sources told AA that Sinai tribesmen will join hands with Egypt’s army and police in fighting Welayet Sinai militant group.

“The upcoming phase will see direct confrontations between armed tribesmen and the so-called Welayet Sinai group,” a tribal source told AA.

On Monday, scores of tribesmen staged an armed procession with pick-up trucks in areas where Welayet Sinai militants are believed to be hiding.

Monday’s parade came two days after President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi extended for additional three months the state of emergency in some areas in the Sinai Peninsula.