Pope Tawadros II of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church supports a planned military operation on Libya, sources close to the Pope told Elshaab newspaper.
According to the sources, the Egyptian church is “concerned about the presence of extremist elements in Libya” which it fears would attack Egypt. The church is particularly concerned about a newly formed militant group, the so-called Free Egyptian Army.
The statements could not be independently verified.
The sources added that a delegation from the church visited the military council to offer support for a planned military strike on Libya aimed at attacking militant groups complicit in the killing of Coptic Christians in Libya.
Military sources told Elshaab newspaper Sunday that the Egyptian armed forces intend to start a military operation against Libya with the support of the US to destroy the so-called Free Egyptian Army, which Libyan authorities insist it does not exist.
Military experts, however, questioned the authenticity of these reports, saying they only aim at spreading panic among Egyptians to continue to support Al-Sisi and also to pave the way for another coup d’état in Libya after a failed first attempt.
In an attempt to justify a military action against Libya, journalist Mostafa Bakry, known for his close links to the military leadership, claimed that Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahry arrived in Libya. Similarly, another pro-coup anchor, Ahmed Youssef, called on the army to attack Libya after rumours about the formation of the Free Egyptian Army.