From the Western Desert Monastery of Anba Bishoi in Egypt’s Wadi al-Natrun, and during his weekly Wednesday sermon, Pope Tawadros II commended the Armed Forces and Security Forces for their endeavour to fight terrorism in the Sinai. He said that the Church prays for peace to prevail in every part of our country.
The Pope was referring to the recent military operation launched by the Armed Forces in Sinai to wage a wide-ranging battle against the Islamist jihadi terrorism and criminal activities in North and Central Sinai, the Delta, the Nile Valley and the Western Desert. The military operation, codenamed Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018, was initiated on 9 February 2018, and involves land, naval and air forces, as well as the police and border guards. In its 9th communique released on 17 February, the Armed Forces said that nine days into the operation, they have succeeded—among other things—in killing seven takfiri Islamists, arresting 408 suspected or wanted criminal elements, destroying 158 terrorist hideouts and ammunition stores as well as transport devices, 4×4 vehicles and motorcycles, seizing 7 tons of drugs and narcotics.