Iran's chief of staff links Sinai violence to Israeli interests

Iran's Chief of Staff, General Hassan Firouzabadi, linked the recent violence in Egypt to Israel on Saturday, according to Iranian state media service Fars news.
"Those who attack the Egyptian people and army headquarters in Sinai desert and start fire and do massacre, whoever they are, knowingly or unknowingly, helping the Israeli occupiers," Firouzabadi asserted.
"The Islamic forces are deployed in Sinai desert to prevent the Zionists' aggression on Muslim territories, including the strategic Sinai peninsula, and attacking them is foolishness," he added.
Some 27 people were killed on Thursday in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, marking some of the bloodiest violence to have struck the lawless region in recent months.
Responsibility for the violence was taken by the Sinai Province group, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an Islamic State affiliated organization.
Firouzabadi's comments come in light of what is considered to be a period of increased operational and intelligence sharing by Israel and Egypt. Both countries view regional Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, as direct threats to their security.
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