Eight people were killed in the crash of a helicopter belonging to the multinational force in Sinai, including 6 Americans, a French, and a Czech, according to a statement by this force. The statement emphasized that the helicopter crashed “during a routine mission in the Sharm el-Sheikh area in Egypt.”
The statement added that an American member of the team survived and was taken to hospital. The statement added that “the multinational force in Sinai will conduct an investigation to find out the causes of the accident,” adding, “So far, there is no information indicating that it was not an accident.” The statement referred to “efforts and cooperation” undertaken by Egypt and Israel after the helicopter crash.
For his part, Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus told AFP, “The Israeli army has offered to help an elite unit to rescue the wounded,” on the spot.
And a helicopter unit of the Israeli Air Force is stationed at Ramon Airport in southern Israel near Sinai, which was the scene of military clashes between Egypt and Israel before they signed the peace agreement.
The annexes of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty provide for the demilitarization of the Sinai, according to which a multinational monitoring force has been deployed since 1981. This force currently includes a little more than 1,100 soldiers of various nationalities deployed in the Sinai, where armed groups of various orientations are currently deployed, including That local branch of the Islamic State.
Egypt has been facing for years an Islamist insurgency in North Sinai, which escalated after the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 in the wake of mass popular protests.
In February 2018, the Egyptian security forces, including the army and the police, launched a massive campaign against armed and extremist groups across the country, especially those stationed in North Sinai. Since the start of the campaign, about 930 suspected terrorists and nearly 75 soldiers have been killed, according to army statistics.