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Egypt's el-Sissi says Iraq, Syria militants headed to Libya

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt – Egypt's president said the defeat of the extremist Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria was likely to have forced militants to seek a safe haven in neighboring Libya, from which they will later cross into his country where his security forces

have been battling militants in the Sinai peninsula and, more recently, in its vast western desert.

 

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi also said Egypt's ongoing arms buildup was designed in part to equip the country to deal with terrorism and redress the "strategic imbalance" in the region created by conflict and turmoil engulfing several countries in the area like Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

 

Egypt has since 2014 spent more than $10 billion on French-made Rafale fighter jets and helicopter carriers, MiG-29 fighter jets and assault helicopters from Russia and submarines from Germany. Moreover, Egypt receives $1.3 billion in annual US aid.