Egypt To Buy Assault Ships From France

Egypt has agreed to buy two assault ships from France, the French government said Wednesday. The purchase dramatically increases Egypt’s its capabilities on- and off-shore, as the country tries to assume a more prominent role in the battle against Islamic State militants.

The assault ships, which can each carry 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and up to 50 armored vehicles, were originally intended for Russia and were built to Russia’s specifications. Russia had traditionally supplied Egypt’s military, but the country has turned more recently toward Western arms purchases, with France taking a leading role.

ABC’s Tom Rivers joined us from London.