CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi vowed Saturday to defeat militants that have attacked security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
“We will never leave Sinai and it will not separate from Egypt unless all of us are killed,” said Sisi in a televised speech addressing the nation on Saturday afternoon in the wake of the Sinai deadly attack that killed at least 40 military personnel and civilians.
The speech followed a meeting with members of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces to discuss the impact of the attack and develop a strategy to counter terrorism in Sinai.
“The attack is not the first and will not be the last, it is a long way that Egyptians chose to take on June 30 by delegating the army to launch a war against terrorism,” said Sisi.
Following the meeting, Sisi issued a presidential decree to form a “unified military unit” to be in charge of the securing the east side of the Suez Canal and the Sinai Peninsula and to develop a coordinated strategy for the security forces and government institutions operating in the area.
The unit is headed by General Osama Askar, Third Field Army chief of staff who was promoted to lieutenant general, effective Saturday, according to Youm7.
“The ongoing wave of terrorism is expected, as the Brotherhood’s logic is we either rule you or kill you,” said Sisi, who previously blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the Sinai attacks.
He assured that the state will be victorious against terrorism and that “the support of the Egyptian people is necessary.” He also hailed the role played by the police and army in countering terrorism.
“The security forces are willing to go on paying the price. Egyptian people chose and I will strictly abide, whatever that choice is,” Sisi said.