The Washington Times reports that 400 U.S. troops will go to Egypt’s Sinai to “curb riots,” and report on “violations” to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. If Israel’s security is threatened, troops will “engage.” The “peacekeeping mission” will include troops from 13 nations. Israel built a fence along the Sinai border, completed in Spring 2013. Illegal crossings dropped 99.9 percent – from 2,000 illegal crossings per month to just 2 illegal crossings per month. It’s not hard to imagine why a Muslim living in Egypt might want to escape to a free country – even Israel.
Something about this report doesn’t make sense. Why would the Muslim Brotherhood allow troops in the Sinai to protect Israel, when the Brotherhood has already said it will not honor the Egypt-Israel peace treaty?
In November 2012, Egypt denied that troops from the U.S. and other Nations will be allowed in the country:
While the international media is all abuzz with reports that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu only agreed to the truce with Palestinians in Gaza if President Obama agreed to send U.S. troops into Sinai to stop the smuggling of arms from Iran into Gaza, Egypt is strenuously denying the story, saying it would never allow U.S. troops to be stationed in its country.
The reports on Sinai originated on the Israeli Debka website, which cited sources alleging that Netanyahu only agreed to a truce because Obama promised to start deploying U.S. troops in Sinai next week. According to Debka, the American troops would serve to cut off the military supplies being sent to Hamas in Gaza by the Iranians.
“Once the missile and arms consignments depart Iranian ports or Libyan arms bazaars, Tehran has no direct control of their transit from point to point through Egypt until they reach Sinai and their Gaza destination,” Debka reports. “All the same, a US special forces operation against the Sinai segment of the Iranian smuggling route would count as the first overt American military strike against an Iranian military interest.”
But Mohamed El-Keshky, Egypt’s Military Attaché in Washington, said in statements that there are no plans or even intentions to deploy U.S. troops in Sinai. He stressed that Egypt has not approved and will never approve the presence of foreign troops on its lands.
He added that the only non-Egyptian troops allowed in Sinai are the UN peacekeeping forces. Source: Atlanta BlackStar (read more here)
We supposedly have 13 nations coming together for this “peacekeeping” mission. Who commands American troops? NATO? According to the U.S. Army, this is not a UN or NATO mission:
Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, 113th Field Artillery, are deploying to the Sinai Peninsula for a year as Multinational Force Observers or MFO. Their mission is to enforce the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty signed in 1979.
Unlike most peacekeeping missions America is involved in, the MFO does not operate under a United Nations or NATO mandate, said Lt. Col. Jack Midyette, of Wake Forest, N.C., commander of the 5th Battalion, 113th Field Artillery, North Carolina Army National Guard.
“The MFO is a civilian organization headquartered in Rome with two field offices, one in Tel Aviv and the other in Cairo. It morphed out of the peace treaty when the U.N. said it would not be able to send peacekeepers.
The countries knew something had to be put in place,” said Midyette. “So the three countries, Egypt, Israel and the U.S. opened negations with other countries and put together a peacekeeping force outside of the U.N.”
The area the MFO will be deployed to is Zone C, which runs from the Mediterranean Sea along the eastern Sinai Peninsula to the Gulf of Aqaba and Red Sea on Egypt’s border with Israel and water borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Soldiers of 5th Battalion, 113th Field Artillery, are assigned to South Camp and will operate within the southern sector of Zone C. Eleven other countries contribute to the MFO: Australia, Canada, Columbia, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Uruguay, which provide different functions for the force. Columbia and Fiji, like the U.S., provide a battalion each.
Midyette said that according to the treaty, only specific types of military build-up can occur in the various zones of the Sinai, for example, in Zone C, only the MFO and Egyptian civilian police can operate.
“We are there to observe and report accurately and objectively,” said Midyette. “The two countries talk to each other.” Source: U.S. Army (emphasis mine)