Retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor said that Russia, the United States, Israel and some European countries are providing intelligence and assistance to Egypt against former Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (now known as Sinai Province after they swore their allegiance to the Islamic State), Sputnik –Russian News Agency- reported
Macgregor said, “We, the Israelis, Europeans and Russians are already providing intelligence and assistance to al-Sisi’s government and military to deal with this threat.”
On Thursday, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Sinai Province is responsible for the downing of the Russian A321 passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula on October 31 that killed all 224 people on board.
Doug Macgregor has a doctoral degree in international relations from the US Military Academy at West Point. He commanded in the Battle of 73 Easting, a decisive tank fight during the 1991 Gulf War.
Since al-Sisi led a military coup in 2013 against the first democratically President Mohamed Morsi, turmoil in Sinai has escalated vigorously. The Egyptian military and police forces are launching massive campaigns against the Sinai Province insurgency. However, the Egyptian military forces couldn’t curb the power of the Sinai Province that has expanded in Sinai, where they formed militants’ cells targeting both Egyptian and Israeli military personnel and civilians, as well as targeting the peacekeeping operations or the Multinational Force of Observers in the Sinai (MFO). The western countries fear the success of Sinai Province to create a well-controlled area that extends from the East to the West. Some experts say that there is much evidence that ISIS-affiliated group in Sinai will be working on linking its operations in the Sinai in eastern Egypt to its presence in the Western Desert that sits along the extremely porous border with Libya.
In this context, Macgregor stated ISIS-affiliated group was seeking to repeat previous Islamic State gains in other countries and was escalating its assaults on long-established international peacekeeping forces between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai. He added, “They have already attacked the Sinai task force that guards the border between Egypt and Israel.”
He also added that the Egyptian army has proved unable to destroy the group or roll it back. He stated, “The problem is the inability of Egyptian ground forces to systematically annihilate the group in the Sinai. “In fact, the United States of America supports Egypt but it doesn’t engage in direct confrontation with the group. In the end, he said, “We can and are doing much to help them, but we cannot intervene on Egypt’s sovereign territory with our ground forces to eliminate this home grown Sunni Islamist organization.”