Are U.S. troops in Egypt to protect Israel or Muslim Brotherhood?

Sheila Musaji

Posted Jun 22, 2013      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Are U.S. troops in Egypt to protect Israel or Muslim Brotherhood?

by Sheila Musaji

According to the Washington Times U.S. soldiers set to deploy to Egypt, prepped for riot control:

A group of U.S. soldiers are rocked and ready to deploy to Egypt for a 9-month peacekeeping mission aimed at curbing riots More than 400 American troops will ultimately go, as part of the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping force, KDH News reported. 

Their mission: To man posts and security checkpoints along the Sinai Peninsula. They’re also tasked with reporting violations to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, KDH News said.  KCEN reported that they will engage if protests and riots reach the point of threatening Israel’s security.  Part of their training included how to respond to Molotov cocktails, KCEN reported.  The force is comprised of soldiers from 13 nations

Al Ahram reports US troops to be deployed to Sinai a ‘formality,’ says Egypt army:

The spokesman of the Egyptian armed forces clarified Saturday circulating news of 400 US troops about to be deployed to Egypt.

“The 400 US soldiers coming to Egypt as mentioned in the media are part of the periodical renewal routine for the US faction of the 13-state multinational force deployed in Sinai since the peace treaty. They are not armed with military operations gear,” spokesman of the Egyptian military Ahmed Ali said Saturday.

A number of US news websites had reported in the past two days that a group of US soldiers will be deployed to Egypt in the near future for a nine-month peacekeeping mission aimed at “curbing riots … if protests and riots reach the point of threatening Israel’s security.”  “We are providing this clarification as we respect the right of the great Egyptian people to know the truth from its original sources and to prevent distortion of information by any instigators,” Ali added.

News of the US troop deployment started to raise controversy coming a week before opposition-backed anti-government protests scheduled for 30 June aimed at the removal of President Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has suffered growing lawlessness since the 2011 popular uprising that swept former president Hosni Mubarak from power.  Egypt’s military presence in the Sinai Peninsula is limited under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

Here is a helpful map from that shows where these troops are going to be located.  Clearly these troops will be far from any protests in Cairo or any other major Egyptian cities.

The official homepage of the U.S. Army reported in November 2012 on a previous similar deployment that:

... 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.” ...

Also in November of 2012, the Atlanta Black Star reported Egypt Denies that U.S. Troops Will Be Stationed in Sinai:

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.

Another aspect of this story is reported in The Egyptian Streets:

...  However, according to the MFO‘s mission, members of the force are traditionally there to operate checkpoints and observation posts, report on any violations of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, and a variety of other observational missions. The MFO’s mission does not include riot control or direct engagement with any combatants.

However, it is perplexing as to why the U.S. troops are being sent to Egypt under the guise of the MFO despite clearly exceeding the powers of the multinational force.  Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports indicate that the soldiers are simply using the MFO as a disguise, and that there are ulterior motives for their deployment to Egypt.

Government sources who wished to remain anonymous stated that the deployment of US troops may be linked to a potential military intervention in Syria. Reports indicate that President Morsi’s recent speech in a Cairo Stadium in which he announced the complete cutting of diplomatic ties between Egypt and Syria foreshadowed a US military intervention in Syria that is to be supported by Egypt.

This information is backed by new reports indicating that the American military has deployed more than 1,000 soldiers in Jordan following a joint Jordanian-American military exercise. In a letter to the US House of Representatives, President Obama stated that the soldiers would remain until the region becomes stable. Political analysts believe this move is to prepare for a potential no-fly zone over Syria.

The news of deployment comes ahead of nationwide protests planned on June 30 against President Morsi. Though the U.S. government has stated that it supports all peaceful demonstrations, the American Ambassador in Cairo, Anne Patterson, recently stated that any protests or demonstrations against the democratically elected President will not lead to a stable democracy.

The reports of U.S. troops in Egypt is likely to heighten anti-US sentiments in the country whose population has often blamed the Obama government for turning a blind eye to President Morsi’s actions over the past 12 months.

How does the Islamophobia echo chamber report this event?

Pamela Geller writes Obama sending U.S. soldiers to Egypt to put down anti-Muslim Brotherhood riots.  She says:  ... Obama is planning on deploying US troops to help crush freedom seekers in Egypt.  Philo-jihadist Barack Obama means to save the Islamic supremacist savages of the Muslim Brotherhood at all cost. And the left is still completely and utterly wrong on Egypt, but those snakes are incapable of a mea culpa. in introducing an article by her partner Robert Spencer.

In that article, Spencer goes on an on about his view of Obama’s foreign policy in relation to Muslim countries and the Arab Spring, to make his point that ... In every case Barack Obama has been consistent: in response to the demonstrations and uprisings in the Islamic world, he has without exception acted in the service of Islamic supremacist, pro-Sharia regimes.  ...  In any case, in one of the most shameful episodes of his entire shameful tenure, now American troops will be deployed in service of the Muslim Brotherhood, to put down pro-democracy protestors in Egypt.

Spencer supposedly extrapolated all of his incorrect points from a brief article from - and even that article included the statement that the soldiers are “planning ahead for violent protests or riots and the possibility of protecting the country’s border with Israel.”

According to the facts released so far, who is being protected with this multinational force ISRAEL - not the Muslim Brotherhood. 

There are many questions that could be asked about this mission.  Why are U.S. and other multinational troops under the command of a civilian entity, and who is paying for these missions would be legitimate questions.  Why is Egypt going along with this?  There are many questionable aspects to the official stories that raise even more questions.  I have highlighted key points in the various news articles — and simply reading through those points makes it clear that there is more going on here than the U.S., Israel, or Egypt are willing to divulge.

The nonsense raised by Geller and Spencer doesn’t help to clarify anything.  In fact, it is more than puzzling that individuals who are extremely pro-Zionist would be objecting to an action that is clearly being carried out in the interests of Israel.  It almost seems that they are part of a purposeful propaganda campaign aimed at deflecting attention from the actual purposes of this deployment.


American Troops Boots on the Ground in Egypt – To Protect Israel? Israel-Sinai Fence Completed

Can Israel attack Syria over the Golan Heights? IDF Forces Complete Drill for Future War with Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas

Egypt Denies that U.S. Troops Will Be Stationed in Sinai (November 2012)

Troops prepare to keep steady peace in Sinai (November 2012)