Egyptian military says it has destroyed dozens of targets killing sixteen militants as part of its latest operation in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula.
"The air force targeted and destroyed 66 targets used by terrorist elements to hide from air and artillery attacks, and to escape from their bases during raids", an army statement said.
Egypt's Salafi Call, a group of ultra-orthodox Salafi Muslims, said it is backing Egypt's army it its battle against terrorism, two days after a major counterterrorism operation focused on Sinai was launched.
Apart from Sinai, the Egyptian army said the operation would also cover parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert, where other militants have waged attacks, some believed to be staged out of neighbouring Libya.
The military said its warplanes struck "terrorist concentrations and hideouts" in northern and central Sinai through the night and into the early hours of Saturday, targeting weapons warehouses and logistics support areas.
A total of 16 militants were killed, it said, and four militants were captured.
The group generally targets Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai but also claimed an attack on a tourist site in southern Sinai in April of a year ago.
Egypt's army has been struggling to uproot the strongholds of terrorists, now belonging to the Islamic State branch in Sinai, since the ouster of the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi, in response to mass protests against his rule in 2013.
In a Facebook posting on his account, Sisi wrote: "I follow with pride the heroic actions of my sons in the armed forces and police to clear Egypt's territory of terrorist elements".
In remarks to "Ten new" talk show on TEN channel on Friday evening, Radi said that "Sinai 2018 is a result of a series of military efforts and investigations since 2013, and particularly after the Rawdah Mosque attack", which occurred on November 24, 2017 and claimed lives of more than 300 people in North Sinai.