Egypt launched strikes against ISIS after another horrific video, showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians, was released on Sunday. In the clip, the masked terrorists condemn the men calling them “crusaders.”
The strikes targeted locations in neighboring Libya — where the mass murders took place — on Monday, after Egypt’s president promised to avenge the hostages’ killings. The nation will also enter into a mourning period to last seven days.
According to an Egyptian military spokesman, the airstrikes hit training camps and weapons storage locations. The audio statement, posted to Facebook, says the jets hit ISIS “to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers.”
“Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them,” the statement added.
Ever since Libyan dictator Muammar Ghadaffi was overthrown in 2011, the Northern African nation has been a safe haven for Islamic extremism. Fears that the unrest in Libya will spread into the country have prompted Egypt to get involved militarily for the first time in 24-years.
The murder of the Egyptian Christians, kidnapped in Libya, has been confirmed by the Coptic Church. The gruesome video shows the captives dressed in the now familiar orange jumpsuits, walking on the beach along their ISIS masked captor, who are wearing black clothes.
“The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church.” the five-minute video declared.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi — who has regularly said he is concerned extremists want to topple his government — said in a statement that the killings of the 21 Coptic Christians would be avenged with airstrikes and called an urgent meeting of top military leadership, according to state television.
“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination. Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”
The Egyptian airstrikes follow similar action by Jordan after ISIS released a horrendous video showing their pilot being burned alive. King Abdullah also promised a relentless campaign to destroy the terrorist group and avenge the man.
Leaders in the western world — including Pope Francis — condemned the ISIS beheading of the 21 Christians in the strongest terms. The White House also issued a statement after the release of the video, however, critics are pointing out that President Obama seemed to be comparing ISIS’ brutality to that of the Crusades — referenced in the video — for which he was slammed by opponents and sympathizers alike.
[Image via Twitter]