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Egypt vowed Thursday to crush an escalating insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula after Islamic State group jihadists killed dozens in their most spectacular assault yet in the strife-plagued region. The violence poses a major test for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who has pledged to wipe out the militants. The military deployed F-16 warplanes on Wednesday to bomb IS fighters who battled security forces on the streets of the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid after launching a surprise dawn blitz on army checkpoints.
Russia said on Thursday a new U.S. military strategy was confrontational and would not help improve relations with Moscow, strained by the crisis in Ukraine. The strategy, released by the Pentagon on Wednesday, said Russia had repeatedly demonstrated it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and that it was willing to use force to achieve its goals. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed regret about the content of the document and said it indicated a "confrontational attitude, devoid of any objectivity towards our country".