As a clear sign of increasing alarm from the IS-affiliated group ‘Sinai Province’, concerned over the recent declaration of war issued by North Sinai ‘s prominent tribe of ‘Al-Tarybeen’ against the group, the IS-affiliated Ibn Taymiyyah Media center released a message in which it subtly begged for softness from the Al-Tarybeen and Sinai tribes.
The message began by describing the emergence of Al-Tarbyeen tribe and other tribes in the militant confrontations with ‘Sinai Province’ as a critical development; it continued by affirming that its message was to deliver admonishment to these tribes.
Contrary to other recently issued statements, the IS message avoided mentioning clear threats to Al-Tarbyeen tribe; instead, it praised the tribes in the Sinai Peninsula through describing them as a fortified fort and strong shield to ‘Al Maghdyeen’ [affiliated militants].
Moreover, it noted that only a small fraction of the tribe has declared war against the IS in Sinai, adding that this does not necessarily mean that the entire tribe is willing to launch war against IS.
Recently, there have been frequent outbreaks of fierce military confrontations between the ‘Sinai Province’ group and a number of prominent members from ‘Al-Tarbyeen’ tribe that have managed to kill a number of IS militants.
Meanwhile, the ‘Sinai Province’ group was able to target gatherings of a number of the tribe’s prominent members and kill them through the usage of suicide bombings; this pushed the tribe to clearly state that it would engage in military confrontation with IS in Sinai for the sake of eliminating them.
Although, the above IS message carries a softer, more peaceful tone addressed to Al-Tarybeen tribe and other tribes in Sinai, the ‘Sinai Province’ group has previously said in a statement that all Al-Tarbyeen members are ‘apostates’ and should be killed.
“We are your soldiers. Your tribe ‘Al-Tarbyeen’ has introduced its finest sons to join us, a number of them are our martyrs and others still are undertaking ‘Jihad’,” the IS message read.
Furthermore, the message called on Al-Tarbyeen tribe to clearly disown and separate from the “small fragment” that expressed or participated in fighting against ‘Sinai Province’; while the call was accompanied by confirmation that supporting IS will keep alive the glorious history of the Sinai tribesmen.
“We are sure that Al-Tarbyeen tribe will disown its sons who have participated in fighting IS in Sinai alongside with the apostate army and police forces” the message said.
In the same context, the message praised the sons of Al-Tarbyeen tribe in the Palestinian strip of Gaza and admitted that a senior leader in ‘Sinai Province’, who is the son of Al-Tarybeen tribe in Gaza, was killed in a military confrontation with the army in Sinai Peninsula.
The message also mentioned a number of names which it claimed are names of sons from Al-Tarybeen tribe who were members in ‘Sinai Province’ and have been killed in confrontations with the army.
The mention of these names was part of the main goal of the message, which is to gain support from the tribe and other tribes in Sinai Peninsula, moreover to persuade them not to participate in military operations against ‘Sinai Province’.
To achieve this target, the message concluded by saying that if Sinai tribes provided support for the Egyptian army and state, they will not gain any benefits, compared with the endless benefits they will get if they supported IS.
The entry of Sinai tribes in the war scene that is ongoing between ‘Sinai Province’ and the state, represented by the army and police forces, is now believed to create radical changes in the future of this war.
This radical change will occur as the Sinai tribes are more aware; they have more information and knowledge of the hiding places of IS members in North Sinai and can reach them easily, unlike the armed forces.
Recently, the tribe of Al-Tarbyeen managed to capture nine members from ‘Sinai Province’ group, while they were trying to reach a gathering of the tribe to launch military attacks against them, according to a statement released by the tribe’s spokesperson, Mousa El Dalh.
The statement further asserted that among the nine captured was the IS police authority’s official, alleged to be active on the ground in North Sinai. This step is the first-of-its kind to be achieved in the war which has been raging between the group and the state over the past three years.