Sources: Egypt to send aircraft and tanks into Sinai

By REUTERS
August 20, 2012 17:49

ISMAILIA, Egypt - Egypt is preparing to use aircraft and tanks in Sinai for the first time since the 1973 war with Israel in its offensive against militants in the border area, security sources said on Monday.

The plans to step up the operation were being finalized by Egypt's newly appointed Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he made his first visit to Sinai on Monday following the killing of 16 border guards on Aug.5.

Egypt blamed the attack on Islamist operatives and the conflict is an early test for President Mohamed Morsy - elected in June following the overthrow last year of Hosni Mubarak - to prove he can rein in terrorists on the border with Israel.

"Al-Sisi will supervise the putting together of final plans to strike terrorist elements using aircraft and mobile rocket launchers for the first time since the beginning of the operation," an Egyptian security source said.


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