Details are pouring in that the terrorist organization Islamic State, or ISIS, has unleashed a missile attack on an Egyptian Navy ship off the coast of Rafah in Egypt on Thursday. Not much information has been published about the attack, but there has been a rash of skirmishes in the Sinai Peninsula region which might explain today’s incident.
As reported by The Jerusalem Post, Islamic State’s Egypt-based operation, Sinai Province, said it launched the attack on the naval ship that was resting in the Mediterranean Sea.
More from The Jerusalem Post:
The Egyptian military said earlier a coastguard vessel had exchanged shots with militants off the coast of northern Sinai, an area bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip. The boat caught fire but the incident resulted in no casualties, the military said.
The International Business Times published a tweet that showed the demolished naval ship and the official statement from Islamic State stating more attacks are to come.
From the IBT:
An official IS statement boasted online that the naval attack was the first of its kind and the start of maritme operations in the Mediterranean. A witness, fisherman Abu Ibrahim Mohammed from Gaza, said the vessel was a gunboat that was sailing at a nautical mile off the coast when it caught fire – but the man did not hear the explosion. Later, he saw two smaller boats trying to extinguish the fire. A third boat came and towed the vessel away. He also heard gunshots.
The vessel was tasked with patrolling Egyptian territorial waters and has been used to move army and police personnel to Egypt. According to terror expert Charles Lister, IS probably used an anti-tank guided missile for the attack similar to the ones used in the Sinai.
We will update this post as the story develops.
Photo: Egyptian Social Media