A file picture taken on July 16, 2013, shows Egyptian soldiers praying as they are deployed in the northern Sinai town of Al-Arish.(Photo: STR AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The specter of Benghazi is affecting U.S. policy in coup-wracked Egypt.
Cited as a reason for closing some 20 American embassies and consulates this month, U.S. officials say the deadly attack in Libya is playing heavily into the Obama administration's response to Egypt's growing unrest.
The fear in Washington is that any significant cut in military aid could prompt Egypt's ruling generals to scale back protection of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and other facilities.
Protesters last September scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and pulled down the American flag before a belated government response.
Yet since the army's July coup, U.S. facilities in Egypt have been protected.
Officials weren't authorized to speak publicly about the administration's internal deliberations and demanded anonymity.