Egypt exhibiting its 2015 airstrikes in Libya with new movie

Feb 22, 2021

CAIRO — A manufacturing firm believed to be linked to the Egyptian intelligence has fired the creativeness of thousands and thousands of viewers by unveiling a brand new movie about Egyptian airstrikes in Libya’s northeastern metropolis of Derna in February 2015. 

Synergy Movies posted the trailer of its new movie “Al-Serb” (“Squadron”) on Feb. 14, promising to present viewers an perception into the air raids that adopted the slaughter by the Islamic State (IS) of 20 Egyptian nationals. 

“The Egyptian president had vowed to avenge the killing of Egyptian residents and he honored his pledge,” the corporate’s chairman, Tamer Morsi, wrote on the trailer web page.

Egypt staged the airstrikes on Feb. 16, hours after IS posted a video wherein it confirmed the slaughter of 21 folks, of whom 20 had been Egyptian Christians, in a coastal space in Libya. 

The Egyptians butchered within the video had been residents of al-Awr village within the central province of Minya. 

Like 1000’s of different Egyptians, these folks — most of them building employees — traveled to Libya to earn a dwelling and escape abject poverty. 

As a substitute of incomes a dwelling, nevertheless, they met their destiny by the hands of the IS terrorists. Their killing was believed to be a part of a wider marketing campaign in opposition to the Egyptian presence in Libya. 

An Egyptian TV director advised of the perseverance of the households of the victims throughout her go to to al-Awr when she visited the village in February 2015 so as to provide her condolences along with a colleague. “As a substitute of soothing them, they [the relatives of the victims] soothed us,” Haidy Gobran wrote on Twitter following her go to.

“Al-Serb” captures nationwide anger following the killing of the Egyptian nationals in Libya and the nationwide response to this killing.

The characteristic movie stars numerous Egyptian and Arab actors, together with Ahmed al-Sakka, Sherif Mounir, Aser Yassin and Hind Sabri.

It begins with a Feb. 15 speech by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, wherein he says his nation reserves the correct to reply to the killing of the 20 Egyptians at any time when and in the best way it desires.

It then particulars preparations for the airstrikes on IS camps in Derna, how the strikes had been deliberate and the way they had been executed. The movie additionally comprises debates on regional terrorism and terrorism financing, in line with its scriptwriter Omar Abdel Halim.

Abdel Halim and his colleagues modified the script of the movie 12 instances earlier than approving a last draft. “We did this to provide a movie that fits the greatness of the Egyptian military,” he advised Al-Monitor.

Mounir stated he and his fellow actors hung out with military commanders planning the airstrikes and pilots executing them. “We listened to nice military officers who provided us all of the wanted help,” Mounir advised the native TV channel ON. 

Round 4 million folks watched the trailer of “Al-Serb” within the first 48 hours after it was posted, in line with the manufacturing firm.

In political phrases, the movie throws mild on an occasion that brought about a shift in Egypt’s technique towards occasions in neighboring Libya. 

Libya has develop into a nationwide safety concern for Egypt because the downfall of the Moammar Gadhafi regime in 2011, as a result of presence of an prolonged border between the 2 nations. 

Cairo accuses terrorist teams energetic in Libya of infiltrating its border and finishing up assaults within the nation. It additionally says weapons and explosives smuggled into Egypt from Libya find yourself within the fingers of terrorists affiliated with the native IS department that’s particularly energetic within the Sinai Peninsula. 

“The unrest in neighboring Libya has a heavy toll on Egypt’s safety,” retired Egyptian military Gen. Gamal Mazloum advised Al-Monitor. “With many terrorist camps, Libya has become a springboard for assaults in opposition to Egypt.” 

The February 2015 airstrikes in opposition to the IS camps in Derna marked Egypt’s transfer from covert to overt motion in Libya, analysts advised Al-Monitor. Cairo used to covertly help the Libyan Nationwide Military (LNA) that controls most of japanese, central and southern Libya now. Nonetheless, the 2015 airstrikes brought about this help to be overt. The identical airstrikes weren’t the final to be staged by Egypt in Libya.

In June 2020, Sisi declared most of japanese Libya to be a pink line for Egypt, a declaration aimed toward repelling potential assaults by the troops of the Tripoli-based Authorities of Nationwide Accord that is backed by Turkey. 

“The pink line primarily aimed to guard the LNA and ship a message to Turkey and terrorist teams energetic in Libya that Egypt wouldn’t tolerate any violation in opposition to japanese Libya,” Tarek Fahmy, a professor of political science at Cairo College, advised Al-Monitor.

However, “Al-Serb” is seen as but a brand new episode in a public relations marketing campaign by the army institution and the intelligence to ramp up help for the military. 

Synergy has been on the coronary heart of this marketing campaign. The corporate, which was based in 2003, however acquired by Eagle Capital, which is believed to be a media funding arm of the Egyptian intelligence, in 2017, produced a TV collection about Egypt’s combat in opposition to the native IS department in Sinai. 

The collection, which saved tens of thousands and thousands of Egyptians and Arabs glued to TV screens throughout the month of Ramadan final 12 months, particularly centered on the life and demise of Ahmed al-Mansi, an Egyptian military colonel who grew to become an icon of Egypt’s struggle on terrorism after his killing in July 2017. 

These works are more and more elevating public consciousness of the sacrifices of the safety institution, cinema critics say.

“Patriotic movies and collection are crucial at this juncture as a result of they throw mild on the position the safety institution performs in defending this nation and its folks,” cinema critic Tarek al-Shenawi advised Al-Monitor. 

In a manner, these works increase public morale in a rustic that has had sufficient psychological setbacks because the 2011 rebellion in opposition to longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt is on the coronary heart of the continuing regional terrorist upsurge, and it is on the coronary heart of the combat in opposition to this terrorism as nicely.

Nonetheless, the brand new movie can also be stirring up debate, given the controversial nature of the 2015 airstrikes in Derna and Egyptian involvement within the North African state usually. 

Movie director Ezz el-Deen Dwedar, a vocal critic of the Egyptian military, believes the euphoria accompanying the movie and its trailer is misplaced. 

I can’t discover any heroism, he wrote, in air raids on disarmed folks dwelling beneath IS management in Derna. “To strike a Libyan metropolis that has no air protection or air drive isn’t heroism in any respect,” Dwedar wrote on Fb. 

The airstrikes reportedly brought about the deaths of dozens of civilians in Derna, main Amnesty Worldwide to accuse Egypt of failing to take precautionary measures to stop civilians from being caught in the midst of its retaliation for the killing of Egyptian nationals. 

One other man, Mohamed Ramadan, wrote that the Egyptian nationals had been killed within the northern Libyan metropolis of Sirte. 

“Nonetheless, Egypt selected to strike Derna as a result of it was the farthest Libyan metropolis inside the vary of Egyptian fighter jets,” Ramadan wrote on Twitter. “All of it was a media present.” 

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