Egypt’s Air Force struck weapons depots and training facilities belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya (ISIL) in a dawn raid, a military communique broadcast on national radio and TV said early Monday morning.
National TV broadcast video provided by the Egyptian Air Force of its fighter jets taking off to carry dawn raids against #ISIL positions.
The air raids come just hours after a grisly video emerged of 21 Coptic Christians who had been working in neighboring Libya being beheaded en masse by ISIL.
The 21 Egyptian Copts, all from Minya in southern Egypt, had been abducted in the Libyan city of Sirte in December and January.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had earlier vowed revenge as he declared a seven-day mourning period.
“Egypt reserves the right of retaliation, and with the methods and timing it sees fit for retribution from those murderers and criminals who are without the slightest humanity,” he said.
On Monday morning, Islamic clerics appeared on government-controlled and independent television networks condemning the execution and branding ISIL as “hijackers of Islam”.
The execution of the Copts comes as a warning to the “hostile church of the Crusaders” a video from ISIL purportedly said.
The video was distributed via Twitter late Sunday.
News emerged late last week that the 21 migrant workers had been executed but the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and the Coptic Church said there had been no evidence of their murder.
The execution of the Egyptian Copts comes two weeks after another deadly terrorist attack claimed by ISIL in Sinai.
On January 28, the Interior Ministry said at least 33 people, mostly soldiers were killed, and 62 civilians wounded in the attacks at checkpoints and Egyptian military installations.
The BRICS POST with inputs from Agencies