On Saturday, October 31, 224 passengers died when, along with the crew of a Russian airliner crashed into the Sinai Peninsula. This happened after the pilot in charge of the airline lost all signals and began dropping from its necessary cruising altitude and killing everyone on board the Airbus A321. According to aviation officials, this Airbus, operated by Russian airline service providers, Kogalymavia, under its branded identity, Metrojet, was travelling nearly soon after day break from the Sinai Red Sea resort and was heading towards St. Petersburg in Russia when this unfortunate incident took place roughly in the desolate mountainous region of Central Sinai.
The incident was expected to be called an accident. However, it is through the popular social networking site Twitter that a particular militant group affiliated to an Islamic state in Egypt claimed complete responsibility for the dropping in attitude as reported by the plane. The claim was further confirmed after it was carried on by the website, Aamaq which is a semi-official news agency for the Islamic State. The tweets which brought this information ahead were from supporters of this militant organisation which claimed that the Russians travelling on the passenger airlines were all crusaders and that God is to be thanked for their downfall and death. However, reports from the north Sinai security agency state that the crash was because of technical failures within the cockpit as earlier mentioned. They further state the details of the crash including the possible positioning of the impact, possible blast and burn to further justify their observation. Though there have been claims that this accident may have been possibly conducted by the ISIS, most official Egyptian sources have invariably rubbished these rumours.
The Egyptian Government seems to be alarmed at this incident and has spoken to the media telling that there has been a committee set up in order to investigate the attack in further detail. This working committee comprise of ministers from Social Solidarity, Civil Aviation, local development, tourism, and health. When spoken to the Russians on the same crisis, the Russian authorities, though seemed furious, publicly claimed towards the Egyptian Government’s claim to seek justice and stated that they too will be taking all measures in order to investigate and find the real cause for the crash. This crash has caused quite an air traffic at nearby airports as two major airline operators, Lufthansa and Air France have refused to carry passengers over the Sinai region as the real reasons behind the crash were unknown. An official from Lufthansa airlines also spoke to the media saying that they were in no position to risk their passenger’s lives and would hence avoid flying over the Sinai region.
The conflict though remains the main reason of interest for most world Governments, and the United Nations in particular at the moment. Claims of ISIS conducting the attack seem extremely real especially after the bombings carried out by the Russian Air Force earlier this month. This may just be an answer from the ISIS signalling the fact that they may be weak but not dusted yet. Though the Egyptian government doesn’t want to accept these rumours, they do seem to have a logical conclusion that cannot just be rubbished that easy. However, having said that, the ISIS has never really attacked a commercial airline. It is also unclear as the level of insurgency the ISIS have achieved in Sinai does seem stretched with their limited ammunition supply in order to have achieved this target. It will be interesting to see as to what President Putin has to say about this crash in Sinai, and if this does turn out to be an ISIS attack a further brutal retaliation can be on its way sooner than expected.