Egypt Sends Tanks, Warplanes to Sinai to Fight Militants

Former US Envoy Accuses Egypt of Violating Israel Treaty

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi seems to be in the ultimate no-win situation tonight. Pressed by both Israel and the US to get more involved militarily in the Sinai Peninsula, which is under Egyptian control, he is sending warplanes, tanks and troops to fight militants.

But while throwing the military at any problem is seemingly the US-approved solution for allies, officials are up in arms against Mursi, accusing him of violating the treaty with Israel by sending troops to fight anti-Israel militants, and demanding that the US withdraw all foreign aid to Egypt in retaliation.

Under the Camp David Accords, the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, Egypt can only send additional troops to Sinai and engage in military operations there if it obtains an Israeli imprimatur. Israel had confirmed the first offensives were approved.

Now, they’re conspicuously silent on the matter, neither confirming nor denying that Egypt’s escalations in Sinai, which are seemingly exactly what they wanted in the first place, were officially approved. That uncertainty seems to be enough to spawn a new round of railing against Mursi, though the condemnation seems to be as much about sidelining the military junta as about the deployment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of