Tuesday, July 23, 2013

US shipment of F-16s to post-Morsi Egypt hits delay

Four F-16 fighter jets were scheduled to fly to Egypt on Tuesday morning as part of a U.S. military aid package worth more than $1 billion a year -- but the shipment has run into delays over apparent "political" issues. 
If the Obama administration is able to send the planes, it will mark the first known military aid to Egypt since millions of Egyptians protested the rule of Mohammed Morsi, leading the Egyptian military to remove him from power earlier this month. 
Supporters say that such aid is critical because it gives the U.S. influence over the Egyptian military. But critics say it is a waste of money, or worse -- a gift of weapons that could later be turned against American interests. 
The shipment has now been delayed at least 24 hours due to "political reasons," according to a source who works on the naval air base in Fort Worth, Texas, from where the planes were being sent. 
Officials at the U.S. Department of State, asked by FoxNews.com about the unexpected delay, explained that "we are reviewing our obligations and are consulting with Congress about the way forward." 
The statement refers to the legality of sending the planes to Egypt, which is questionable because of a 2012 law that forbids the president from sending military aid to any government that has come to power in a "military coup." 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/07/23/us-shipment-f-16s-to-post-morsi-egypt-hits-delay/?test=latestnews#ixzz2Zu4okLV9

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