News that Al-Sisi is employing local militia to offer assistance to the Egyptian security forces in their war against ISIS, shows how desperate al-Sisi’s war against ISIS has become, said the Independent in a report.
This, in fact, is one of the most alerting factors in Egypt’s war against terrorism as the Egyptian army is following the same contaminated path as many of its neighbors by using a killer-militia in its war against Isis in Sinai, especially that counter-insurgency wars always breed corruption and counter-murder.
Accordingly, the armies rely on proxy allies who can act as informants and treat civilians with brutality. “The Syrians, the Iraqis, and the Israelis when they co-opted their own Lebanese militias between 1976 and 2000, and the Americans in Iraq – all ended up shamed by the cruelty of their supposed allies,”wrote the Independent.
But now Egypt’s al-Sisi, the former defense minister who launched a military coup which overthrew the country’s first elected president Mohamed Morsi, is employing uniformed militias in the Sinai, where ISIS has taken over many areas of the peninsula.
The Independent said, “It is a sign of just how desperate the military situation has become in the battle with ISIS that the Egyptian Army, whose former field marshal and commander, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi , is now the president, should be resorting to such measures.”
It is worth to mention that the Egyptian police and soldiers are attacked daily and civilians are disappearing, either for fear of ISIS or because they are seized by the army’s “collaborators”(for so they are of course called) who are also executing ‘suspects’.
Last month, a number of videos have been circulating in Cairo clearly show two civilian men being executed with a rifle after a brief interrogation; other pictures show the corpses of eight civilians, including the two in the earlier frames, being positioned on the ground with weapons beside them in an apparent attempt to make it appear that they are “terrorists.”
A uniformed man from the Egyptian army’s intelligence service directs the executions. The videos, which appeared on the Egyptian social media, were condemned by the Human Rights Watch and described the murders as “outrageous”.
The rights group also suggested that the Egyptian government’s campaign in Sinai is “out of control”– and pointed out that US-supplied armored vehicles carried the detainees to their place of execution.
In this context, the HRW’s said that the countries providing weapons, material or training to the Egyptian military should suspend their assistance until the Egyptian army ends its violation of human rights is pie-in-the sky.
However, the Independent doubted that the US administration would suspended the military aid to Egypt especially that Trump administration has recently agreed to sell F-16 fighter bombers to Bahrain without the slightest demand for human rights from its minority government and monarchy.
Moreover,” US forces were on active duty with Iraqi troops when Shia militias were “disappearing”hundreds of Sunni civilians fleeing Fallujah – and now Mosul. And we didn’t hear a peep out of the American military. And which EU nations (including, for now, I suppose, the UK) are going to damage their lucrative arms trade with the Arab world because of a few grainy videos and militia executions?”according to the Independent.
On the other hand, the Egyptian media have turned to a tactic which the Algerian government used to adopt when it claimed to be winning its 1992-1998 war on “terror”: to explain that continued or even increased bomb explosions, killing and executions were quite normal because they went on elsewhere in the world.
Cairo papers are now insisting that the Egyptian army cannot be accused of failing to conquer “terror” when Stockholm, London and Paris are also subjected to “terror”.
However, the Egyptian press cannot change the fact that from day to day it becomes clearer that this al-Sisi regime, since it came to power with a coup d’etat, goes from failure to failure, both from a security and an economic points of view.
In conclusion, the Independent said, “The problem is that Egypt’s out-of-control war against ISIS– and ISIS’s new killer cells west of the canal – may soon make such institutions powerless. And when army militias are now at work to execute the state’s supposed enemies… Well, just think Iraq.”