UK defence advisor briefs Egypt on anti-ISIS airstrikes

Ahram Online , Tuesday 8 Dec 2015

UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged last week the British parliament to agree on passing a bill to launch airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria

British senior defence advisor Tom Beckett met on Tuesday with senior Egyptian military figures in Cairo to brief them on the UK parliament’s recent decision to launch airstrikes against the ISIS militant group in Syria, read a statement by the UK embassy in Cairo.

Beckett met with General Mohamed El-Shahat and General Mohamed El-Keshky, telling them that “the UK strikes, conducted as part of international counter-[ISIS] coalition operations, are now targeting [ISIS] across Syria and Iraq and form part of a comprehensive strategy to defeat [ISIS] and restore peace and stability to Syria and Iraq.”

During the meeting, Beckett “reaffirmed the strong military relationship between the UK and Egypt and welcomed the strong, continued partnership between the two countries in the fight against [ISIS],” the statement added.

Last week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged the British parliament to agree on passing the bill to launch airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria.

“The question is this – do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them?” Cameron told the packed parliament.

Domestically, Egypt has been combating a decade-long militant insurgency in North Sinai that has intensified in the past two years.

Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the group that has claimed the majority of terrorist attacks in North Sinai, recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.

In February, Egypt launched airstrikes against ISIS targets in Libya after a video emerged of ISIS beheading Egyptian Copts on a shore in Libya.

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