Although congress is undecided on whether an Apache sale to Egypt should go ahead, the US military is quietly continuing deliveries
Aug. 8 2014
A senior US military official has confirmed to Middle East Eye that the US delivered a refurbished Apache helicopter to Egypt in April - though another 10 of the aircraft are being withheld for deliveries due to human rights concerns raised by Congress
Department of Defence spokesperson, Commander Bill Speaks, confirmed the Apache’s delivery to MEE in July, justifying the shipment by saying the Apache was “previously sold and delivered”.
Concerning the 10 Apaches being withheld, Speaks confirmed that the aircraft were in storage at Fort Hood, Texas. “We are making decisions with respect to our assistance to Egypt in consultation with congress,” he added.
An initial announcement in April that the US would lift its suspension of the 10 Apaches drew criticism from Human Rights Watch, which expressed fears that the regime plans to employ “scorched-earth type tactics, in which helicopters are part of that campaign”.
The deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, Joe Stork, said the group’s concerns remain exactly the same. “We don’t know how Egypt’s military campaign is being conducted in the Sinai. Journalists don’t have access, and Egyptian journalists are put in jail or threatened with jail if they report anything.
Stork said the fact is they’re being used as part of an overall military campaign, and that HRW doesn’t know to what extent it’s being conducted in accordance with the laws of war.
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New York City: Thousands join the World Stands With Gaza March to the United Nations, August 9, 2014.
Photos by redguard and Johnnie Stevens