The Egyptian government sent warplanes to neighboring Libya to attack Islamic State targets in response to the latest IS video which showed 21 Egyptian civilian members of the Coptic Church being beheaded, reported Talking Points Memo.
Similar as the video of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh’s execution, this latest video aroused a visceral and angry reaction.
“What will be a relief to me is to take a hold of his murderer, tear him apart, eat up his flesh and liver,” said Bushra Fawzi, whose 22-year-old son, Shenouda, was executed in the video. “I want his body back. If they dumped it in the sea, I want it back. If they set fire to it, I want its dust.”
Most of the 21 executed men came from a small Egyptian community of mostly-Christian residents who traveled to Libya as migrant workers in order to work and send money to their impoverished families. Egyptian warplanes struck IS targets on Monday morning.
TPM reported that Egyptian forces struck four targets in Darna, Libya, an Islamic State stronghold that was taken last year. The targets included weapons caches, training camps, and Libyan officials confirmed that over 50 IS militants were killed. Alongside the Egyptian air force, Libya conducted their own strikes, but reserved details.
The strikes were “to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers,” said military officials. “Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield to protect and safeguard the security of the country and a sword that amputates terrorism and extremism.”
It appears that Egypt, and Libya to some extent, have officially been brought into the fight against IS. The militant group is going to keep provoking one military operation after another until the group eventually gets snuffed out. It can’t happen soon enough.