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U.S. To Scale Back Military Aid To Egypt, Reports Say

Egypt

Armored vehicles blocking Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, in August. (Amr Nabil/AP)

The White House is "poised to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance" to Egypt following last summer's coup and the deadly crackdown on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

That's the word from The Associated Press, which says the official decision from the Obama administration should come this week.

That decision "will hold up the delivery of several types of military hardware to the Egyptian military," The New York Times writes, quoting several unnamed administration officials. The items include "tanks, helicopters and fighter jets. But it will not affect aid for counterterrorism operations or for border security issues involving the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza," the newspaper says.

The AP says the move will "likely have profound implications for decades of close U.S.-Egyptian ties that have served as a bulwark of security and stability in the Middle East."

The decision follows a review sparked by a series of attacks by security forces on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi that ended in hundreds dead. A shipment of F-16 fighter jets was quickly suspended as were joint exercises planned with the Egyptian Army.

According to the AP:

"The U.S. provides Egypt with $1.5 billion a year in aid, $1.3 billion of which is military assistance. The rest is economic assistance. Some of it goes to the government and some to other groups. Only the money that goes to the government would be suspended."

The Times, quoting officials, says the U.S. will also suspend "nonmilitary aid that flows directly to the government, but not support for other activities like education or hospitals."