Sinai insurgency

The Sinai insurgency is an ongoing insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, that was commenced by Islamist militants against Egyptian security forces, which have also included attacks on civilians.[39] The insurgency began during the Egyptian Crisis, during which the longtime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in the Egyptian revolution of 2011.[40]

Sinai insurgency
Part of the Terrorism in Egypt, the Egyptian Crisis, War on terror, and the Arab Winter

Map of the Sinai Peninsula.
(For a more detailed map of the current military situation in Sinai, see here.)
Date5 February 2011[1] – present
(10 years, 7 months, 1 week and 4 days)
Status Ongoing




Islamic State of Iraq and Levant[18] (from 2014)

Commanders and leaders
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (2014–pr.)
Mahmoud Tawfik (2018–pr.)
Mohamed Ahmed Zaki (2018–pr.)
Mohammed el-Shahat (2011–pr.)
Osama Askar (2011–pr.)
Magdy Abdel Ghaffar (2015–18)
Mohd. Ibrahim Moustafa (2013–15)
Ahmed el-Mansy (2016–17)
Ahmed Gamal El Din (2012–13)
Mohd. Youssef Ibrahim (2011–12)
Mansour el-Essawy (until Nov 2011)
Mahmoud Wagdy (until Mar 2011)
Sedki Sobhi (2014–18)
Ahmed Wasfi (2012–14)
Mohd. Hussein Tantawi (2011–12)
Sami Anan (2011–12)
Col. Khaled Al-Arian 
Col. Mohammad Abd Motagalli 
Benjamin Netanyahu (until Jun 2021) 
Benny Gantz
Gadi Eizenkot
Mohd. bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Mohd. bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Muhammad al-Zawahiri (POW)[20]
Abd El-Fattah Salem (POW)[14]
Fayez Abu-Sheta [21]
Youssif Abo-Ayat [22]
Saed Abo-Farih [22]

Abu Hajar al-Hashemi (ISIL Emir of Wilayat Sinai)
Salim Salma Said Mahmoud al-Hamadin 
Abu Osama al-Masri [23]

Shadi el-Manaei
Selim Suleiman Al-Haram [24][25]
Units involved

Egyptian Army

Total: 25,000 (41 battalions)[26]

Total: ≈12,000[27]

ISIL: 400-500
Casualties and losses
1,050–2,050+ killed
4,059-5,189+ killed
Civilian fatalities: 1,539+ Egyptian,[32][33] 219 Russians, 4 Ukrainians, 1 Belarusian,[34] 3 South Koreans,[35] 3 Vietnamese, 2 Germans,[36] 1 Croatian[37]
IDF: 1 killed[38]
Total: 5,853–7,353+ killed

The Sinai insurgency initially consisted of militants, largely composed of local Bedouin tribesmen, who exploited the chaotic situation in Egypt and weakened central authority to launch a series of attacks on government forces in Sinai. In 2014, elements of the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) and proclaimed themselves Sinai Province, and a part of ISIL. Security officials say militants based in Libya have established ties with the Sinai Province group[41] and have blamed the porous border and ongoing civil war for the increase in sophisticated weapons available to the Islamist groups.[42]

Egyptian authorities have attempted to restore their presence in the Sinai through both political and military measures.[43] Egypt launched two military operations, known as Operation Eagle in mid-2011 and then Operation Sinai in mid-2012. In May 2013, following an abduction of Egyptian officers, violence in the Sinai surged once again. Following the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, which resulted in the ousting of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, "unprecedented clashes" have occurred.[44]

The fallout suffered by the locals as a result of the insurgency in Sinai ranges from militant operations and the state of insecurity to extensive military operations and the demolishing of hundreds of homes and evacuating thousands of residents as Egyptian troops pressed on to build a buffer zone meant to halt the smuggling of weapons and militants from and to the Gaza strip. A report, compiled by a delegation from the state-funded National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), stated that most of the displaced families share the same grievances of palpable government negligence, unavailability of nearby schools for their sons and the lack of health services.[45] Since the start of the conflict, dozens of civilians were killed either in military operations or kidnapped and then beheaded by militants. In November 2017, more than 300 Sufist worshippers were killed and over 100 injured in a terrorist attack on a mosque west of the city of Al-Arish.[39]