In Depth

Egypt buys French fighter jets as press rattles sabre

Egyptian newspapers are full-throated in their support for military action against Islamic State

Egypt has signed a multi-billion dollar arms deal with France, agreeing to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets as Cairo seeks to deter Islamic State militias operating near the Egyptian-Libyan borders.

Egyptian defence minister Sidqi Sobqi signed the deal with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in the presence of the Egyptian president Abdul Fatah al-Sisi.

Sisi himself has called for a UN Security Council decision on Libya. He considers the 2011 Nato intervention in Libya "an unfinished mission", Sky News reports.

After IS extremists killed 21 Egyptian workers in Libya last weekend, most Egyptian newspapers reflected a sense of national humiliation and anger.

In a country in which editors are under pressure to toe the regime's line, hawkish opinion pieces are unlikely to be at odds with government thinking.

Many commentators argue that the only response to IS's act of "barbarism" should be a war against Islamic extremists in Libya and also on Egyptian soil.

Al Masry al Yaoum calls on the Egyptian president to continue fighting IS in Libya. In so doing, "the cowards [IS] will know that Egypt's response won't be too late", the paper said.

Al Yaoum Al Sabe newspaper said the nation can only feel vindicated when seeing Egyptian jets bomb IS militias. "Shame on those who support IS including the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood who speaks in the name of Islam" while beheading civilians, the paper said.

Al Ahram newspaper says it is not enough that the Egyptian army alone should be fighting IS. The terrorist group should be dealt with by the international community and the United Nations, it says.

Al Jamhouria titled its editorial yesterday: "We all support our armed forces". Egyptian armed forces have a historic mission to protect Egypt's national security against threat by barbaric killers in Sinai and Libya, the paper said.

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