U.S. Delays the Delivery of F-16s to Egypt

Mike O'Brien

The Obama administration is putting pressure on the Egyptian military to restore civilian rule by delaying the export of four F-16 fighter jets to the country.

Mr. Obama has expressed deep concern about the removal of President Mohamed Morsy, Egypt’s first democratically elected president.

He has even ordered a review of U.S. law regarding aid to the country that has so far been a vital Middle East ally.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Egypt’s military chief, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, this week to inform him of the decision over the F-16s.

According to Pentagon spokesman George Little, Mr. Hagel and el-Sisi also discussed the general’s call for mass demonstrations in Egypt for support of the military.

The four jets were due to be sent to Egypt by the end of August as part of a $1.3 billion arms package that included tank parts, CNN reports.

It has not been decided when or if the F-16 deliveries will resume, Mr. Little added.

He said the decision was made "given the overall situation" in Egypt, but added the administration still has not ruled on the question of whether events in Egypt should be classified as a coup.