Egyptians will not be seeing the F-16 fighters that were promised from the US. At least for now. It was only a few days ago that US officials indicated that four planes would still be delivered before the hold was announced. These were part of a twenty plane order that has already shipped eight of the fighters. The fierce protests over the ousting of President Morsi by military forces have left the region in turmoil. US policy states that if a countries leader is removed during a coup then US aid will be cut off. But officials in Washington aren’t ready to concede a coup just yet.
The situation in Egypt remains volatile. Morsi supporters consider the removal of their leader a military coup of the true president. General Sisi, defense minister at the moment stated “I urge the people to take to the streets this coming Friday to prove their will and give me, the army and police, a mandate to confront possible violence and terrorism.” The Muslim Brotherhood want President Morsi reinstated and believe General Sisi is effectively calling for a civil war.
In 2012 Morsi was elected president of Egypt. He was the first democratically elected president, winning by a narrow margin. Opponents of President Morsi have not been pleased with the direction of the government. Morsi is backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and opponents say they are pushing for a more Islamist rule. As the unrest grows in the Egyptian world the US stance has been perceived by many to be fence sitting, and that has enraged people on both sides of the issue. They feel that by not choosing their side the US is siding with their enemy.
Eleven people have been killed in the last three days alone. The violence shows no signs of stopping and with the call for more demonstrations by general Siri the situation may even worsen. The fact that Morsi is being held by the military “for his own safety” and Morsi’s family say he was kidnapped only add fuel to the fire. The Morsi family is planning on taking Egypt’s defense minister to court for his part in the perceived kidnapping to drive their point home.
With both supporters and opponents of the power change in Egypt firmly dug in for their cause the conflict is far from over. The direction the US decides to take with respect to sending funds and military supplies will have a serious effect on the situation and no matter which way Washington leans there will be some very unhappy people.
By: Kevin Reid
Sources: BBC.co.uk Telegraph.co.uk