WASHINGTON – Efforts by the Egyptian government to crack down on Islamist groups
in Sinai have not been affected by America’s suspension of major military
equipment, US officials said this week.
Obama administration officials
testified before a hostile bipartisan group of lawmakers that the offensive
continued unabated, and that the US was working to assist the Egyptian military
as usual in its counterterrorism operations.
After a months-long review,
the White House announced that it would suspend the delivery of American-made
tanks, fighter jets, attack helicopters and offensive missiles after a series of
deadly crackdowns by the Egyptian army against civilian protestors.
US also suspended $260 million in cash assistance to the interim government,
which has been in power since the overthrow of president Mohammed Morsi on July
3, well before the end of his term.
At the time of the suspension
announcement in October, the State Department said that it would continue to
give Egypt support for counterterrorism efforts in the Sinai peninsula.