An alliance in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula is fighting against the Islamic State Group, ISIS.
According to CNN, these men are not soldiers or the police, but Bedouin tribesmen who want to put an end to the proliferation of terrorism in the region.
“They are not Muslims,” Sulieman El Meharwel, one of three tribal leaders, said. “They kill anyone who doesn’t agree with them. We accept everyone, including Christians and Jews, but we can never accept ISIS.” The leaders of the tribe claimed that they have successfully been able to push back the terrorist group without firing a single shot. Engagement of firearms could start a tribal war in the Sinai Peninsula, they say.
“We’ve stopped ISIS more than 20 times. We went out with more than 50 cars and kicked them back,” Hussein Abu Atwey, one of the tribal leaders, said. “We told them they aren’t allowed in our territory. We didn’t shoot one bullet because if there was one bullet shot, there would be a (tribal) war.” The leaders say that while ISIS has attempted to gain entrance from the south several times, they have so far been unsuccessful in their endeavors.
According to the International Business Times, Sinai Province, a group affiliated with the ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the crash of a Russian plane. The crash resulted in the deaths of all 224 passengers aboard.
“The tribes could defeat ISIS. If the government came and gave us arms and said fight ISIS, they would fight ISIS,” Atwey said. “They’d finish them completely.”
The Egyptian government suspects the Bedouin tribes, and the nomads have expressed concern of supporting the government. They say that civilians carrying weapons could easily be mistaken for militants. “If ISIS hears of anyone collaborating with the army, they are likely to be slaughtered, their heads cut off,” El Meharwel said.
The tribes work alongside the army in south Sinai to keep the ISIS away. “If we find anyone from ISIS infiltrating the south, we go to the military intelligence and tell them where they are located,” Atwey said.