Egypt increases number of soldiers in Sinai, with Israel's blessing

Major General Mohammed el-Shahat revealed the exact number of Egyptian soldiers meant to combat ISIS.

February 28, 2018 20:31
1 minute read.
Egypt increases number of soldiers in Sinai, with Israel's blessing

Egypt's Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seen during a news conference in Cairo on the release of seven members of the Egyptian security forces kidnapped by Islamist militants in Sinai, May 22, 2013. Picture taken May 22, 2013.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Head of the Egyptian armed forces Major General Mohammed el-Shahat revealed in a rare speech that currently there are 88 battalions stationed in Sinai to fight ISIS militants stationed there, Israel's Channel 11 reported on Wednesday.

This number is greater than that which was set out in the terms of the 1979 peace agreements between Egypt and Israel, yet ISIS is seen by Israel as a common foe, and so "whenever they [the Egyptians] ask, we consider it," said a high ranking Israeli source quoted in the story.

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Speaking with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi by his side, Major General el-Shahat said the numbers of troops are even higher than the president recently claimed them to be. Now there are "42,630 soldiers and 800 vehicles," said the commander of the Egyptian army.

Recently, it was revealed that the IDF and Egyptian security forces are working closely to combat ISIS militants in the north of Sinai.

The first round of Egyptian elections is set to be held from March 26-28. Few people suspect that president el-Sisi will have any serious opponents, and he is very likely to continue in his office as president.  

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