Though not discussed publicly, the U.S. military had played a major role in preparing for the arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir.
The process of gaining formal U.S. military backing began several months ago, with advisers from the United States Africa Command and state department officials helping Sudanese forces prepare for their confrontation with protesters. Meanwhile, the U.S. military has begun collecting intelligence and sending drone-camera data to help guide its ally’s military operations.
A senior U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, told the Washington Post that America’s assistance focused “on protecting the border and making sure there is no external interference.”
American military forces on a larger scale have not been used in the country since the 1991 Gulf War, and the small numbers of troops involved here operate in a formal advisory capacity. The biggest role of the military presence has been to secure the ground for the crackdown to take place.
A senior State Department official told Reuters that the U.S. military had been ready to support Sudanese forces and that military planners may send further assistance.