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Egypt allowed covert Israeli strikes against militants: NYT

NEW YORK: Egypt allowed Israeli jets, drones and helicopters to carry our covert strikes inside Egyptian territory against militants who were undermining Egypt, according to a report published in the New York Times on Sunday.

“For more than two years, unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 air strikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week — and all with the approval of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,” the NYT said.

The newspaper said: “The remarkable cooperation marks a new stage in the evolution of their singularly fraught relationship. Once enemies in three wars, then antagonists in an uneasy peace, Egypt and Israel are now secret allies in a covert on campaign billboard for President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. American officials say he has kept the Israeli airstrikes hidden from all but a limited circle of military and intelligence officers.”

The NYT said: “Both neighbours have sought to conceal Israel’s role in the air strikes for fear of a backlash inside Egypt, where government officials and the state-controlled media continue to discuss Israel as a nemesis and pledge fidelity to the Palestinian cause. The Israeli drones are unmarked, and the Israeli jets and helicopters cover up their markings. Some fly circuitous routes to create the impression that they are based in the Egyptian mainland, according to American officials briefed on their operations.

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