Egypt Watch

WSJ: The Pentagon wants to withdraw US forces from Sinai

The Wall Street Journal revealed that US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is leading a push to withdraw troops from an international peacekeeping force the U.S. heads in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Pentagon officials told the newspaper that the possible withdrawal is part of a cost-cutting review to assess US military operations around the world, and that Esper believes that the deployment of forces in the Sinai is not worth the cost In exchange for the danger to the soldiers there.

A US high-profile official said that the plan faces opposition from the State Department and Israel, at a time when Islamic State’s insurgency in the area is flaring again, with conducting series of deadly attacks against Egyptian army.

The international peacekeeping force was established in 1981 to monitor peace between Egypt and Israel after the Camp David agreement and has a total of 1,100 military personnel, including more than 400 American soldiers.