Sisi says army engaged in 'attrition phase' against terrorism in Sinai since 2013

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Oct 2019

Addressing the Armed Forces 31st Cultural Symposium, President El-Sisi affirmed the strength of ties between the nation and the armed forces, dismissing corruption claims as an attempt to break national confidence

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi speaks during 31st armed forces cultural symposium (Photo Courtesy of Extra News Live Feed)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi says the army has been in an "attrition phase" in its war against terrorism in Sinai for the past six years.

In a televised talk during the Armed Forces' 31st cultural symposium, El-Sisi affirmed the strength of the bond between the Egyptian people and the country's army.

His address came following the screening of a short documentary on the country's 1967 military defeat against Israel.

"Despite the major loss, the Egyptian people did not lose their confidence in themselves because the army is a part of them. The army is the son of the people, so if we lose confidence in ourselves, then we lose confidence in our army," he said.

"The short clip discussed attrition [during the 1967 war]. We have been in this phase for the past six years in Sinai in a war against terrorism. Is this not attrition?" he said.

"I want to remind you that after the war, Egyptians donated to build the army," he said.

The president also said that Egyptians maintained high spirits despite the severe and bitter loss of 1967.

"Their awareness was bigger than the loss and they urged the leader to not to step down," he stressed, in reference to late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser's resignation following the defeat and the mass protests against the decision.

He also reiterated that the allegations of corruption in the army made over the past two months are to "defame it and cast doubt on its capabilities."

The address comes a few weeks after El-Sisi downplayed rare calls for protests against his leadership. Late last month, police disbursed small protests in Cairo and several other cities that were prompted by allegations of mismanagement of state funds.

Short link: