Speed Reads


Egypt strikes ISIS in Libya following Christian beheadings

Early Monday, Egyptian warplanes attacked Islamic State camps, weapons depots, and training facilities in Libya, a day after ISIS released a video purporting to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians who had gone to Libya seeking work. Libya's air force participated in the attack, which killed 40 to 50 militants, Libyan commander Saqer al-Joroushi told Egypt's state television, adding "more air strikes will be carried out today and tomorrow in coordination with Egypt."

This is Egypt's first acknowledged airstrikes against Islamist targets inside Libya, and its first air campaign against ISIS. The attack was "to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers," Egypt's military said in a statement. "Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield to protect and safeguard the security of the country and a sword that amputates terrorism and extremism."

The graphic video is the first purporting to be from ISIS outside of Iran and Syria, raising the possibility that Islamic State now has an operational branch in Libya. On Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi declared a seven-day period of mourning. —Peter Weber