Egypt strikes jihadist camps in Libya

Egypt launches six air strikes on jihadist camps in Libya following latest attack on Coptic Christians.

Elad Benari, Canada , | updated: 00:07

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi
Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi

Egypt launched six air strikes on jihadist camps in Libya on Friday night, following the terrorist attack in which gunmen opened fire at a bus, killing 28 Coptic Christians, AFP reported.

State television reported six air strikes against "terror camps in Libya", specifying that jihadist training camps were hit in the eastern Libyan city of Derna. Witnesses there reported four strikes by a single aircraft.

The Egyptian military said confirmed the air strikes, adding they were ongoing.

The air strikes came hours after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi said that Cairo will not “hesitate” to strike terrorism anywhere.

“Egypt will not hesitate at all to strike terrorist camps anywhere,” Sisi said in a televised address, according to Al-Arabiya. He added that Cairo does not “conspire” against any country, and is keen to full protect its national security.

“I say again, any camps being currently used to train terrorists, Egypt will strike. This message is clear, he stressed.

Sisi also urged U.S. President Donald Trump to “prioritize” the fight against terrorism.

"You have said that your priority is to confront terrorism, and I trust you are capable of doing that,” he said, adding, “If Egypt fall so will the rest of the world.”

The bus attacked on Friday was travelling to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, located 135 km (85 miles) south of Cairo when it came under fire.

No group immediately said it was behind the attack, but the Islamic State (ISIS) has targeted Copts several times in recent months, and vowed to do so again.

Trump on Friday issued a statement in which he condemned the attack and said the U.S. stood alongside the Egyptian people.

“Terrorists are engaged in a war against civilization, and it is up to all who value life to confront and defeat this evil. This merciless slaughter of Christians in Egypt tears at our hearts and grieves our souls. Wherever innocent blood is spilled, a wound is inflicted upon humanity. But this attack also steels our resolve to bring nations together for the righteous purpose of crushing the evil organizations of terror, and exposing their depraved, twisted, and thuggish ideology,” he said.

“America also makes clear to its friends, allies, and partners that the treasured and historic Christian Communities of the Middle East must be defended and protected. The bloodletting of Christians must end, and all who aid their killers must be punished.”

“America stands with President Al-Sisi and all the Egyptian people today, and always, as we fight to defeat this common enemy,” stressed Trump.

Israel also strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Egypt, in a statement from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office.

“There is no difference between the terror of the attack in Egypt and that of attacks in other countries. Terror will be defeated more quickly if all countries work together against it,” said the statement.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)