US official urges Obama to aid Egypt in fight against Islamic State

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Kay Granger, chairwoman of the US House of Representatives State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee, has said that Egypt needs F-16 planes, A1 Abrams tanks and other weapons in its fight against Islamic State.

Granger’s request, made in a letter to President Barack Obama, was not only limited to Egypt. She urged the delivery of better armaments to Jordan and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, both of which have been active in the fight against IS.

“I am prepared to do everything within my power to make sure this occurs, including placing holds on Congressional notifications (spending plans) and drafting legislation to hold your administration accountable,” Granger wrote, speaking on the urgency of better weapons for allies.

Granger said that the White House should “immediately release” remaining weapons and funds to Egypt, along with upping its efforts with Jordan and the Kurdish Peshmerga.

Twelve of the 20 F-16 planes built by Lockhead Martin for Egypt, as part of a foreign military sales agreement between the United States and Egypt, are still in US hands. The current US policy on Egypt is to hold up many shipments of big-ticket weapons until Washington can certify that Cairo has made progress on human rights.

“As Egypt, Jordan, and the Kurds retaliate and defend themselves against ISIL’s [Islamic State] heinous acts, US security assistance is being held or delayed by bureaucratic processes and ill-advised policy decisions by your [Obama’s] administration,” Granger wrote.