U.S. Will Cut Aid to Egypt

The move marks a chilling of relations between the two nations

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Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

Protesters throw stones during a clash between supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, at Ramsis square, which leads to Tahrir Square, in Cairo October 6, 2013.

The U.S. will withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt amid a crackdown by the country’s military-backed regime, the State Department said Wednesday.

The U.S., which provides up to $1.5 billion in aid annually to the Arab nation, will withhold delivery of certain large-scale military systems and cash assistance to the Egyptian government, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. She did not provide a dollar amount.

The aid will be withheld “pending credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections,” Psaki wrote in the statement.¬†The U.S. will still provide funding for Egypt to secure its borders, fight terrorism, and ensure security in the Sinai, Psaki said.

The decision marks the White House’s most significant response yet since the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party in July, sparking waves of violence that have left hundreds of Morsi supporters dead. The U.S. previously canceled biennial joint military exercises with Egypt and suspended delivery of four F-16 fighter jets.

An anonymous U.S. official told the Associated Press that the latest suspensions include 10 Apache helicopters worth about $500 million.

[Associated Press]