The Middle East Newsline has confirmed reports that Egypt, amid a troop buildup, has staged a series of military exercises in the Sinai Peninsula.
Egyptian military completed a major 10-day multi-service exercise last month.
The exercise tested the joint capabilities of its air force and infantry, both based on U.S. platforms and weapons.
“The exercises were designed to enhance combat capability,” an official said. “The exercises take place on a regular basis.”
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Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported that the exercise in the Sinai, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip, contained several stages.
MENA said main battle tanks backed a large infantry force, artillery and F-16 multi-role fighters.
The exercise came amid an Egyptian troop buildup in central and eastern Sinai. Egypt has requested Israeli approval to deploy up to 1,500 soldiers and police along the 10- mile border with the Gaza Strip.
Over the last two years, Israel has sought clarifications over the Egyptian exercises in the Sinai. Egypt and Israel have been at peace since 1979 due to an agreement meant to demilitarize most of the peninsula.
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