Sisi inaugurates the East of the Suez Canal Counter-Terrorism command (Photo: Egyptian presidency)
Dressed in military uniform, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated on Sunday the East of the Suez Canal Counter-Terrorism command, a statement by presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said.
Several top state and army officials attended the event, including Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhi, Army Chief of Staff Mohamed Farid and others.
The inauguration comes during the ongoing comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018, which was launched on 9 February by the Egyptian Armed Forces to counter terrorism in North Sinai and other areas across the nation.
"The inauguration of the Eastern Suez Canal counter-terrorism command comes within the framework of developing the Armed Forces' capabilities to carry out their sacred duty of protecting the homeland with maximum efficiency," the statement said.
"The president was briefed on the forces and the command's facilities before he visited the East of the Canal Command's headquarters, where tactics for Operation Sinai 2018 are planned," the statement added.
El-Sisi was also briefed by Army Chief of Staff Mohamed Farid on the results of the operation over the last 15 days.
"The president clarified that the current operation in Sinai already began in 2014 and will carry on until 2022, and said that Sinai's development expenses are expected to reach EGP 225 billion, a huge figure that requires the solidarity of all Egyptians to acquire," the statement added.
Last week, the army said that 71 takfiris have been killed and more than 1,000 targets destroyed since the start of the ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Operation Sinai 2018 involves land, naval and air forces, as well as the police and border guards.
The operation targets "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" in northern and central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, the army announced at the start of the operation.