CAIRO: The U.S. Embassy in Cairo has confirmed to The Cairo Post earlier unverified reports that Egypt had recently taken possession of a shipment of 10 AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships from the U.S.
“The United States is pleased to confirm that it delivered the 10 Apache helicopters to Egypt in November. This delivery is part of the United States’ continued commitment to Egypt’s counterterrorism efforts and our long-standing strategic relationship,” U.S. Embassy Press Attache Mofid Deak told The Cairo Post Sunday.
Previously, Youm7 quoted an anonymous Egyptian air force source Saturday saying Egypt had recieved the aircraft.
“The Egyptian air force received 10 Apache helicopters during the last period, and they are being prepared to be operated as soon as possible in cooperation with the U.S. side,” said the source, according to Youm7.
The source denied earlier media reports claiming Egypt had not received the aircraft.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced in October during his visit to Egypt to attend a Gaza reconstruction donor conference that the Apache helicopters would be delivered in November.
The Apaches are part of an annual $1.3 billion American military aid package to Egypt. Parts of the aid were suspended in August 2013 immediately following the dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins at Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda square on Aug. 14.
In April, the United States said it would lift the suspension by delivering 10 helicopters, according to the Pentagon, but did not specify when it would deliver them.
In June 2014, the U.S. released $575 million in military aid to Egypt that had been frozen. The cash release followed a visit to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi by Kerry on June 22.