NEWS AND VIEWS THAT IMPACT LIMITED CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT
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Sunday, July 19, 2015
ISIS missile strikes Egyptian naval vessel off Sinai coast
ISIS Reaches Egypt
(The Long War Journal) - The Islamic State claimed credit for a rocket attack off the coast of the Sinai that set an Egyptian ship ablaze earlier today. The attack was confirmed by the Egyptian military, which disputed the jihadist group’s claim that the ship was destroyed and all crew members were killed.
The Islamic State released a brief statement on Twitter, as well as three photographs purporting to show the attack (below). The statement and photographs were obtained by the SITE Intelligence Group. The authenticity of the photographs cannot be independently confirmed.
“[T]he mujahideen were able to target a frigate of the naval forces of the apostate Egyptian army in the Mediterranean Sea, north of Rafah, and that was with a guided rocket,” the Islamic State’s Sinai province claimed, according to a translation by SITE. “It led to its complete destruction and the elimination of all who were in it.”
Egypt’s official military spokesman said in a statement released on his Facebook page that a coast guard vessel was “securing the Mediterranean coast to the city of Rafah,” and then responded to “the movements of some terrorist elements on the coast, so it chased and exchanged gunfire, which led to the launch catching fire without loss of life.”
The Egyptian military is “currently combing the entire area and hunting the terrorist elements involved in the commission of the incident,” the spokesman continued.
The type of ship that has been struck has not been disclosed. The Islamic State said it hit a “frigate.” The Egyptian navy is known to operate US-supplied Oliver Hazard Perry and Knox-class frigates. The ship shown in the Islamic State photographs does not appear to be either of those types of vessel.
The images released by the Islamic State indicate that a rocket was indeed fired from the coast at an Egyptian naval vessel. The first photograph shows a palm tree in the foreground while a projectile trailing smoke is heading towards a ship. The Islamic State circled the rocket to highlight it.