Egyptian security sources reported that the country is preparing to use its Air Force and Tanks to counter armed groups and arms smugglers operating in the Sinai Peninsula.This will be the first tome Egypt deploys tanks and the Air Force in Sinai, since the 1973 war with Israel.
Reuters reported that the new Egyptian Defense Minister, Abdul-Fattah As-Seesy, is conducting the final touches to the military plan.
The Minister first visited Sinai after armed extremists attacked an Egyptian military base on August 5th, killing 16 Egyptian Border Guards; several soldiers were wounded in the attack.
Following the attack, Egypt carried out a large military operation, attacked several places used by armed groups, and managed to locate and confiscate several weapons and large caches of ammunition.
Furthermore, an Egyptian military source said that the army is planning to impose a siege on Al-Halal Mountain, in the center of Sinai, and intends to bombard it using tanks and war-jets.
It is worth mentioning that the peace agreement of 1979, singed under American supervision, imposes restrictions on the deployment of the Egyptian army in Sinai.
In recent years, Israel allowed the deployment of further Egyptian military units in the area in order to counter the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip, and criminal groups operating in Sinai.
Also, senior Israeli military and security officials said that they are in direct communication with Cairo and that they encouraged the newly-elected Islamist leadership to act decisively against the armed groups in Sinai.