"Friendly" Troops Deployed to Predominately Muslim South

February 15, 2005

Source: IslamOnline.net


On February 15, 2005 IslamOnline.net reported, "Thailand's cabinet approved Tuesday, February 15, the creation of a 12,000 soldier-strong infantry division to be permanently based in the predominantly Muslim southern provinces to foster what it termed better relations between the military and Muslim residents.

'This regiment is not to combat but to develop the region, thus staff must fully understand the tradition, culture of Thai Muslims before deploying in the area. But if necessary, we have to be sure that we have enough troops for combat operations,' Thai Defense Minister General Sumpan Boonyanun was quoted as saying by Agence France Presse (AFP).

The new division, expected to take shape within three months, would comprise three battalions including soldiers for medical services, development projects and outreach activities."