The U.S. troops that are to be deployed in the Sinai are a mere “formality,” says Egyptian Army Spokesman Ahmed Ali said on Saturday, according to Al Ahram.

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

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A number of American news websites had reported over the past two days that a group of U.S. soldiers would 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.

Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has experienced rampant lawlessness since the toppling of former president Hosni Mubarak, but Egypt’s military presence in the Sinai Peninsula is limited under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

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