US suspends military aid to Egypt

imgThe United States said Oct. 9 it had suspended the delivery of major military hardware and cash assistance to Egypt in the wave of a bloody crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Washington has frozen “the delivery of certain large-scale military systems and cash assistance to the government pending credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically-elected civilian government through free and fair elections,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Marking a dramatic break with years of unqualified support to Cairo, the decision will halt the delivery of big-ticket items, including Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets and M1A1 Abrams tanks, officials told reporters, confirming earlier leaks.

The United States, however, will keep up assistance “to help secure Egypt’s borders” and bolster “counterterrorism and proliferation, and ensure security in the Sinai,” Psaki said. Washington will also continue “to provide parts for US-origin military equipment as well as military training and education,” along with aid in areas such as health, education, and private sector development, she added.

Washington had already effectively frozen deliveries of expensive military hardware since a July 3 coup that ousted president Mohamed Morsi and a subsequent bloody clampdown on his Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

After Morsi’s overthrow, the Pentagon called off a planned exercise with Egypt and postponed the delivery of four F-16 fighters.

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