Egyptian forces began a major assault against militants on Friday ahead of election. The assault is focused on Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic State attacks have killed soldiers, police and civilians.
The assaults are aimed at crushing their militant insurgency by an end of February deadline set by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Nov. 29 ordered the forces to defeat militants in North Sinai within three months, after an attack that happened on a mosque. The deadly attack killed some 300 people.
Corresponding reports from residents confirm that they saw warplanes flying above the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, which borders North Sinai to the west. To the northeast of the vast, remote desert region, people in the Gaza Strip said they heard explosions coming from Egyptian territory.
According to the military spokesman, the operation would cover large parts of Sinai, but also parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, where other militants have waged attacks, some believed to be staged out of neighboring Libya.
The military campaign involves the army, navy, air force, border patrol and police.
The campaigns takes place ahead of a March election in which Sisi is seeking a second term.