$50 bln more required for middle-and low-income Arab countries to recover from COVID-19: ESCWA    GERD talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to continue Saturday    GERD talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan resume on Friday    Saudi-led coalition destroys four Houthi drones over Yemen    Rudolfo Anaya, 'godfather' of Chicano literature, dies at 82    Liverpool reiterate need for safe celebrations ahead of Villa clash    Egypt and Jordan's Foreign ministers discuss annexation of West Bank    Indigenous leaders angry about coronavirus risk from Brazilian military visit    EU grants conditional clearance to COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir    UN says it is "alarmed" at arrests in Hong Kong, concerned at "vague" law    France's PM Philippe resigns ahead of Cabinet reshuffle    Gulf economies to shrink 7.6% due to coronavirus, decline in oil prices: IMF    UK PM Johnson says of fathering his newborn son: 'I'm pretty hands on'    Japan seeks extradition of Americans accused in Ghosn escape    Ex-FDA official says the worst of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak to end in January    Moderna delays coronavirus vaccine trial – report    Sane completes move to Bayern from Manchester City    Greece starts clearing ground for Athens property plan after long delay    Egypt developing four WHO-registered vaccines to treat coronavirus patients    Lebanon's IMF talks on hold, finance minister says    313 tourists from Switzerland, Belarus arrive in Egypt following flight resumption    Real Madrid close in on La Liga title after edging Getafe    Ethiopia intransigent on GERD issue: ECES seminar experts    Qalaa Holdings records 191% y-o-y increase in revenues during Q1 of 2020    ABB, Hitachi launch $10bn joint power venture    NCW calls for investigating harassment and rape allegations discussed on social media    Egypt's National Election Committee to announce Senate election details    Egypt is developing 4 vaccines, 3 drugs against COVID-19: Higher Education Minister    Italy's Eni unveils new gas discovery off Egyptian Nile Delta coast    Apple to re-close more stores in U.S, bringing total to 77    Egypt's Zamalek to continue training Thursday, but domestic league participation unclear    Egypt's parliament Oks supplementary spending bill for FY20    Liverpool boss Klopp happy with African Nations Cup postponement    Deadly protests erupt in Ethiopia over killing of popular Oromo singer    Egypt's cultural activities to resume mid-July    At 99, CPC governance legitimacy shines brighter in time of global uncertainty    Federation of Egyptian Banks denies funding GERD: eletreby    Saudi development authority starts executing phase I of giant cultural project    30 June Revolution preserved Egyptian identity from hijack: Al-Sisi    Don't miss Al-Hadra troupe's two concerts at El-Sawy Culturewheel    Egypt's President Sisi opens Baron Empain Palace, two int'l airports    Inauguration of Baron Empain Palace important for Egypt's tourism sector: official    President Al-Sisi inaugurates new national project developments in Cairo    11 coronavirus cases detected at Egyptian Premier League clubs – EFA    Egypt to host World Handball Championship on time despite COVID-19: EHF President    Liverpool's Egyptian winger Salah fit for Crystal Palace clash – coach Klopp    Egypt's parliament Oks amendments to House law amid differences over election    CAF draws timeline for resumed continental championships amid COVID-19    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Tangential battles
Published in Ahram Online on 31 - 03 - 2020

Two armies are on the march in Egypt today. One is the “white army”, the convoys of medical personnel in hospitals, healthcare and research centres and other facilities who are working round the clock in the fight to contain the coronavirus. The other is the Egyptian Armed Forces which are engaged in two simultaneous battles.
The first is also the battle against Covid-19 to which the army is contributing with the production of disinfectants and hygienic substances and products in Nasr Company, military production factories and the Arab Manufacturing Organisation, and by means of the countrywide sanitisation and disinfection campaigns in major thoroughfares, government buildings, schools and universities, Al-Azhar buildings, the Coptic Cathedral and other vital public institutions.
The army's second battle takes on conventional enemies, terrorism and drug trafficking which frequently serves as a means to fund terrorist activities.
Local sources in Sinai have confirmed an Air Force strike against a terrorist convoy in the vicinity of Bir Al-Abd, killing and wounding a number of terrorist operatives. According to the sources, the operation targeted four SUVs transporting terrorists who attempted to take advantage of the government's current preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic. The Air Force succeeded in taking out the four vehicles and the army followed through with combing, surveillance and targeted operations which were still in progress as of the writing of this story.
The Armed Forces, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, also launched an extensive drive to wipe out drug crops in central and southern Sinai. Members of the Border Patrol, the law enforcement forces of the Third Field Army, the civil police and the Air Force, took part in the sweeping campaign to discover and destroy hundreds of poppy and cannabis farms in the difficult-to-access ravines and hollows in the rugged mountainous terrain in St Catherine, Wadi Al-Nadiya, Wadi Al-Akhdar, Wadi Al-Abar, Wadi Matakha, Wadi Silaf, Wadi Maain, Wadi Fran, Wadi Sahb, Wadi Saal and El-Sheikh.
In addition to unearthing and destroying dozens of marijuana and poppy farms, the army confiscated tons of marijuana and hundreds of kilogrammes of cannabis seeds, poppy seeds and hashish powder. It also raided nine laboratories for the manufacturing and processing of hashish, as well as an unlicensed motorcycle used for smuggling activities.
According to a statement by the Armed Forces, the campaign was carried out in tandem with actions to tighten security and control over national borders in all strategic directions, a process that led to the seizure of vast quantities of narcotic substances.
The government has stepped up its fight to combat drug trafficking and prevent illicit drugs from entering the country in light of the serious threat they pose to the security and well-being of the Egyptian people, the statement said.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 2 April, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

Clic here to read the story from its source.