NYT reports Egypt-Israel joint military campaign: According to the New York Times Israel has helped Egypt fight ISIS for over two years with full cooperation from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. This assistance amounted to over 100 airstrikes by unmarked Israeli drones, jets, and helicopters in a covert air campaign against a jihadist groups including a group called called Ansar Beit al Maqdis, meaning “the Partisans of Jerusalem” which declared itself the Sinai branch of ISIS.
According to the NYT, fearing backlash within Egypt causes both nations to deny any such cooperation as Egyptian government and official state media continue to perpetuate a hostile attitude toward Israel claiming to back the Palestinians. Why this duplicity is acceptable to anyone remains a puzzle. Egypt would be wise to outright state its support of Israel as Saudi Arabia has done thereby stabilizing the region by showing an international front against terror.
Ashdod City hall building vandalized: Municipal workers in Ashdod came to their building this morning to find the collections department vandalized with bricks thrown through its windows. It is believed this vandalism is a violent response of those opposed to the Ashdod Shabbat laws. Many stores owners in the Ashdod ‘BIG’ mall received fines of 320 shekels for being open on Shabbat. This incensed the storeowners. The Ashdod mayor Yechiel Lasri says “the fines are nothing new and populists took advantage of the current situation to vandalize. We’re all obliged to keep the law and we won’t cave in to populism. Ashdod will come out of this conflict stronger, a model to be emulated elsewhere but it depends on everyone being tolerant and accepting.”
Russian plane downed, pilot killed in Syria: According to Syrian monitoring group, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a Syrian militant, a Russian plane was shot down in northwestern Syria. The pilot ejected from his fighter jet and actually landed relatively safely but was subsequently killed while resisting capture.
The Syrian militant who wished to remain anonymous told the Associated Press the pilot was shot and killed when he attempted to resist capture and shot at militants who tried to capture him alive. There is no confirmation or denial from Moscow regarding the plane or the pilot.