ISIS Claims It Destroyed Egyptian Navy Ship In Rocket Attack

ISIS affiliate Sinai Province announced the attack, conflicting with the Egyptian military's account

Jul 16, 2015 at 11:25 AM ET

The ISIS affiliate, Sinai Province, claimed responsibility Thursday for a rocket attack that they say destroyed a frigate of the Egyptian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, conflicting with an official account by Egypt’s military.

ISIS said the attack happened north of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Not shortly after the announcement, a new hashtag #أول_عملية_بحرية_للدولة_الإسلامية celebrating the attack appeared on social media. The hashtag means “first marine operation of the Islamic State” in Arabic. It had been tweeted about 200 times Thursday morning by supporters of the Islamic State celebrating the “historical moment” for the extremist group.

The Egyptian military said Thursday that the vessel caught on fire after a shootout with the Islamic State members, but photos from ISIS offer a conflicting account. Egypt’s political atmosphere has become increasingly heated in reaction do a deadly wave of attacks by the affiliate of ISIS on July 1. The group claimed to kill 17 Egyptian soldiers in another attack on the Sinai peninsula. The Egyptian military’s statement said it had foiled the attack.