A group of over 400 US ground troops are going to soon be deployed to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, as part of a 13-naton force aimed at preventing riots in the area around Israel’s border.
The troops have been training for months for the deployment, which comes on the eve of planned protests against the Morsi government in Egypt, which many fear could lead to a violent crackdown and further demonstrations, as has been so common in the past.
The Egyptian government downplayed the deployment, saying the troops are being sent “merely as a formality” and that they won’t have any weapons. This is likely aimed at preventing another controversy surrounding foreign troops occupying Egyptian soil.
Issues over the military bases for foreign forces in Sinai caused major concern among Egyptians last year, with the Egyptian Army eventually dismissing the reports as a “lie” and claiming that the bases were merely “multinational forces facilities” and not real military bases, even though they are bases for foreign military forces.