Pilot killed in Egypt Air Force fighter jet crash during ‘training activity’ in North Sinai
ISIS announced that an Egyptian F-16 crashed, but did not claim credit
An Egyptian Air Force pilot was killed when his fighter jet crashed in North Sinai on Tuesday, January 14, the military said.
The Egyptian military spokesperson said the plane crashed during an air force training exercise in “one of the training areas,” adding that the cause of the crash is yet to be determined.
The spokesperson did not specify the type of aircraft that crashed. Egypt’s large air force has a range of fighter jet aircraft in its inventory, including F-16 Fighting Falcons, Alpha Jets, and Mirages, all reportedly used for training.
Amaq, Islamic State’s propaganda arm, announced the crash of an Egyptian armed forces F-16 in the village of Shebaneh, south of Rafah in north Sinai. Amaq did not mention a possible cause of the crash and did not say ISIS brought down the aircraft..
The Egyptian government has been battling a significant Islamist insurgency in North Sinai in recent years.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a defunct Islamist militant group active in northern Sinai, pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014, dubbing itself as ISIS’s Sinai province.
The Egyptian army launched a nationwide offensive against Islamist militants, focused mainly on North Sinai, in early 2018.
The Egyptian government regularly touts successes against the Islamist fighters in Sinai, but the region is officially off-limits to independent monitors and journalists.