Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Elhanan Miller / The Times of Israel – 2013-07-30 11:22:05
Egypt: Jihadists Used US-Made Missile to Attack Sinai Base
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(July 29, 2013) — Three soldiers were injured today when a rocket hit a military building in the Sinai Peninsula city of el-Arish, according to Egypt’s Interior Ministry. Though violence has been soaring in Sinai since the Egypt junta announced it’s offensive, termed “Operation Desert Storm,” this incident is noteworthy because the Interior Ministry report claims that the missile was a “US-made ballistic missile.”
The claim is particularly unusual because the Interior Ministry report provided specific information on its believed specifications, putting it at 168 cm long and 25 cm in diameter and saying it was fired from a “great distance.”
That doesn’t appear to exactly fit the specifications of any US missiles, and is quite a bit larger than the shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles that one would conceivably find being swapped around by militant factions, resembling more the size of something fired by a vehicle.
If the claims prove accurate, this could be a huge scandal for the US, and a big unanswered question as to how a local militant faction came by such huge US weaponry. The timing is doubly inopportune as the US is planning a massive influx of weapons to rebels in Syria, adding to the question of whether those arms will also end up getting passed around the region and end up in the hands of random factions as well.
Jihadists Fire â€˜US-made Ballistic Missile’ at Sinai Security HQ
Elhanan Miller / The Times of Israel
(July 29, 2013) — Jihadists attacked the Egyptian security headquarters in northern Sinai ostensibly using an American-made ballistic missile, Egypt’s interior ministry said early Monday morning.
In a statement posted on its official Facebook page, the ministry said the missile, which it said was made by the US, hit the third floor of the building in the city of el-Arish on Sunday evening, injuring three soldiers.
Photos of the missile’s tail posted on the Facebook page reveal a small plaque reading “guided missile surface attack.” The missile was reportedly 168 centimeters (66 inches) long, 25 centimeters (10 inches) wide, and fired from “a great distance.”
The ministry did not specify what kind of missile it was.
Egypt has been waging a military campaign to eradicate terrorist cells across Sinai since jihadists attacked a military outpost in el-Arish in July 2011, killing six Egyptian soldiers. The operation was widened following the ouster of president Mohammed Morsi on July 3.
Since Saturday, the army has been focusing its efforts on northern Sinai in a 48-hour operation dubbed Desert Storm. A total of 17 members of the security forces and at least five civilians have been killed in the area since the July 3 overthrow.
Egyptian security apprehended three suspects in the area surrounding the security building, including one Palestinian citizen, following the attack. The army also engaged two cars driven by gunmen, causing unknown injuries to their passengers, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Monday that one Egyptian soldier was killed and eight wounded in a gunfire attack against an army base in the Egyptian city of Rafah.
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