A helicopter crash in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula took the lives of eight Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeepers, the MFO stated on Thursday.
The crash occurred Thursday morning in the southern part of the peninsula near the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh and took the lives of six Americans, as well as one French and one Czech national. All of these fatalities were military service members. One American peacekeeper survived the crash and has been transported to a hospital in Israel, the Israeli military stated according to Reuters.
The helicopter involved in the incident was a Black Hawk that was on a supplying mission. The Czech Defense Ministry said that the crash was “caused by technical issues,” multiple outlets have reported, including Reuters and CNN.
The Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller in a statement tweeted out Thursday by the Department of Defense expressed his sadness at the loss of these service members and offered his condolences to the members’ friends, families, and colleagues.
“We are saddened by the loss of 6 US and 2 partner nation service members in a helicopter crash in the Sinai Peninsula operating with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO),” he said.
With Veterans Day having happened on Wednesday, Miller added: “Yesterday we recognized the sacrifice of millions who have defended our nation, and today we are reminded of the last full measure our warriors may pay for their service. I extend @DeptofDefense’s condolences to the families, friends, and teammates of these service members.”
The 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace accord saw the demilitarization of the peninsula and placed the U.S.-led MFO in charge of monitoring that process. Israeli forces had occupied the peninsula after capturing it from Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day War but left after the 1979 U.S.-brokered treaty.
Reuters’ Dan Williams notes that the size of the MFO in Sinai has decreased over the years as the countries next door have bolstered their cooperation in defeating Islamist militants on the peninsula. The U.S. has been wanting to reduce its involvement in the MFO, which Egypt and Israel have historically opposed since a large portion of MFO personnel are American and, in the case of Egypt, has brought in billions of dollars in U.S. defense aid.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Gun Charges Amidst Special Counsel Investigation
In a significant development, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was indicted on Thursday on federal gun charges as part of Special Counsel David Weiss’ ongoing investigation. The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden made false statements during the purchase of a firearm, among other charges.
The charges against Hunter Biden include:
• Making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm
• Making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer
•Possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance
According to the indictment, the alleged incident occurred on or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware. Hunter Biden is accused of knowingly making a false and fictitious written statement during the acquisition of a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver. According to reports from Fox News, the statement, submitted on Form 4473, falsely certified that he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, or controlled substance.
Furthermore, the indictment further states that between October 12, 2018, and October 23, 2018, in the District of Delaware, Hunter Biden knowingly possessed the same firearm despite being an unlawful user of and addicted to controlled substances. This marks the first set of charges brought by Special Counsel David Weiss against Hunter Biden since being granted special counsel status.
The investigation came to public attention when it was reported by Fox News in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018 involving a gun owned by Hunter Biden.
Reports state that, Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, discarded the gun. Hunter’s gun was thrown away in a dumpster near a market, located close to a school. It was subsequently revealed that Hunter Biden had purchased a gun earlier that same month.
Hunter Biden’s legal troubles do not end with the gun charges. Earlier in July, an original plea agreement collapsed, which would have seen him plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts for willful failure to pay federal income tax, thus avoiding jail time on a felony gun charge. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the Hunter Biden investigation and related matters. The White House has declined to comment on these developments, which continue to draw significant public and media attention.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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