Sisi Underlines Growing Need for Joint Arab Force

Sisi Underlines Growing Need for Joint Arab ForceSisi Underlines Growing Need for Joint Arab Force

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi  said that the need for a joint Arab military force is growing every day as the region faces the escalating threat of armed factions.

Sisi also said on Sunday in a recorded address that Egypt’s military has no interest in invading or attacking other nations, but will defend Egypt as well as the region “if required and in coordination with our Arab brothers.”

“The need for a unified Arab force is growing and becoming more pressing every day,’’ Sisi said, Al-Jazeera reported.

The Egyptian leader said both Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have offered to dispatch military forces to aid Egypt following last week’s beheading in Libya of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by fighters pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.

Egyptian warplanes struck IS positions in the eastern Libyan city of Derna early on Monday, just hours after the release of a video showing the beheadings.

Sisi said in his address that the warplanes struck 13 targets which had been “carefully surveyed and studied.” At least seven civilians were reportedly killed in the attacks.

Sisi’s assertion that a joint Arab military force was needed was the first public confirmation by an Arab leader that the creation of such a force was a possibility.

Last November, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAW and Kuwait discussed the creation of a military pact to take on armed groups, with the possibility of a joint force to intervene around the Middle East.