US Agrees To Arm Iran’s Enemy In Last 24 Hours Of Deal
President Barack Obama lifted an arms freeze against one of America’s oldest Middle East allies today, coming as Egypt joins Saudi Arabia in the offensive against Iran-backed militants in Yemen.
According to The New York Times:
Mr. Obama removed his holds on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles and M1A1 tank kits and in a telephone call assured President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt that he would continue to support $1.3 billion in annual military assistance for the Cairo government, the White House announced.
Events in Yemen are alarming to the administration, says Michael Rubin, an expert at the American Enterprise Institute. This is a reactionary move as Yemen quickly becomes “Syria 2.0.”
Speaking on the decision to lift the freeze, Rubin says, “I don’t think we’re doing it out of any specific strategy. I think it reflects a lack of coherence to our strategy.”
Egypt has joined the Sunni Arab campaign against Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, intended to halt Iran’s expanding influence in the Gulf. Egypt sent war ships toward the Yemeni coast, but officials say they are prepared to send in ground troops if necessary.
The U.S. launched the embargo in protest of the military coup which ousted Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president in 2013.
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