Summary: Egypt was incited by ISIS after the group’s affiliates in Libya posted a video showing the beheading on Egyptian Christians. The nation responded by carrying out airstrikes against ISIS targets.
A video emerged on Sunday showing militants who claim to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), forcing a group of 21 Egyptian men to the ground and decapitating them. The men were Coptic Christians who were kidnapped in eastern Libya during December and January.
The action angered the nation who immediately responded with a military attack on ISIS. Egypt’s State TV said the nation carried out airstrikes at dawn that targeted camps, training sites and weapons storage areas belonging to ISIS. Later in the day, a second wave of strikes was reported by the AP news agency.
It was reported that eight strikes have been conducted with the plan being to target all IS locations in the country. Libyan military officials confirmed to the BBC that Egypt carried out coordinated airstrikes with planes under the direction of Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni.
Egypt declared seven days of national mourning after the release of the video, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi described IS as “inhuman criminal killers”. In the televised public statement al-Sisi said: “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”