President Barack Obama said Thursday the United States has canceled military exercises with Egypt to protest the killing of hundreds of protesters. (Jim Watson / AFP)
President Obama said Thursday the U.S. military will cancel large-scale training exercises planned with the Egyptian military amid the ongoing violence in that country.
The commander-in-chief made a rare public appearance during his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and announced the abrupt halt to the exercises, known as Bright Star, that were scheduled for September.
The exercises are typically held every two years with Egypt, which receives about $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid each year.
Obama said Thursday that the U.S. “strongly condemns” the violence in Egypt, but stopped short of calling for an end to the military aid.
The Egyptian military recently ousted the democratically elected government and this week has mounted a violent suppression of demonstrators in the capital city of Cairo. The death toll is estimated at more than 500.
The Bright Star exercises typically involve thousands of troops from the Egyptian military, the U.S. and many NATO countries, practicing joint operations including air assaults and an amphibious landing.