ESW Week in Brief: July 27–August 2, 2019

08/02/2019 . By TIMEP

Summary

  • Wilayat Sinai claimed responsibility for an IED attack that allegedly killed or injured ten Egyptian soldiers. The group also published a eulogy for one of its members.
  • Egyptian Minister of Defense Muhammad Zaki met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. The pair discussed a variety of mutual security interests and increased U.S.-Egyptian military cooperation.
  • President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi met with Rapid Support Forces head General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo in Cairo. The pair discussed ongoing Sudanese transitional negotiations and Egyptian support for Sudanese security.
  • Two individuals were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for attempting to travel to Egypt in order to join ISIS-affiliated Wilayat Sinai.
  • S. Department of State approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt, which includes services for a variety of U.S.-made warships in Egyptian military inventories.
  • Russia approved the transfer of two IL-76MF transport planes from Jordan to Egypt.
  • Egypt and Russia concluded a conference planning future joint military exercises. The Arrow of Friendship 2019 drills will focus on increasing Egypt’s air defense capabilities.

Wilayat Sinai Claims an IED Attack and Eulogizes a Member

Wilayat Sinai claimed a July 30 IED attack on a group of soldiers near Rafah, which they reported to have killed or injured ten Egyptian soldiers. A video published by Wilayat Sinai shows the IED detonated near dismounted Egyptian soldiers, who were patrolling in front of a convoy of armored personnel carriers (APCs).

Wilayat Sinai also published a eulogy for a member known as Abu Qatada al-Ansari. The release did not specify how al-Ansari died.

Egyptian Minister of Defense Zaki Meets U.S. Defense Secretary Esper

The Egyptian Ministry of Defense announced Minister Muhammad Zaki’s visit to Washington D.C. where he met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to discuss as variety of security issues. Zaki attended meetings with U.S. officials and was also present at a ceremony to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The United States Senate confirmed Esper as the Defense Secretary on July 23.

President Sisi Meets with RSF Head Hemedti in Cairo

Rapid Support Forces (RSF) head General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti,  met with President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi on Monday July 29, 2019 to discuss the situation in Sudan and the progress of transitional negotiations. Hemedti is part of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council (TMC) negotiation with civilian representatives. The pair discussed the status of ongoing talks and reaffirmed Egypt’s “strategic support” for maintaining stability and security in Sudan.

Two Indicted by the U.S. Justice Department for Trying to Join Wilayat Sinai

The U.S. Department of Justice indicted a Somali refugee and a permanent resident for attempting to join Wilayat Sinai. FBI agents received information on the accused through assets posing as ISIS supporters. Communications from the accused indicated they hoped to travel to Egypt in order to join the ISIS affiliate. FBI agents arrested the pair on its way to Egypt as they attempted to board a flight in Tucson.

United States Approves Sale of Follow-On Technical Support to Egyptian U.S.-Made Warships

The State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of Follow-On Technical Support (FOTS) for various ships at an estimated cost of $554 million. The various classes of ship included in the FOTS are: Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigates (FFG-7 class ships); Fast Missile Craft (FMC); Mine Hunter Coastal (MHC) ships; Coastal Mine Hunter (CMH) ships; and 25 Meter and 28 Meter Fast Patrol Craft (FPC).

Russia Approves Transfer of Two IL-76MF Transport Planes From Jordan to Egypt

Russian military export company Rosoboronexport approved the transfer of two IL-76MF military transport planes from Jordan to Egypt. There were no details available for the arrangement between Jordan and Egypt, but the planes had allegedly been seen by military aircraft analysts displaying Egyptian military colors prior to the transfer.

Russia and Egypt Conclude Conference on Upcoming Joint Military Exercises

Egypt and Russia concluded a conference on the upcoming Arrow of Friendship 2019 joint military exercises. The exercises will be conducted in Egypt from late October to early November and will see the participation of around 100 Russian soldiers. The drills center on strengthening the air defense capabilities of the Egyptian military.