DOD: Egypt policy review not 'de facto suspension' of aid

Despite the ongoing review, there has been "no decision made to halt assistance to Egypt," Little told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon. 

However, one top Senate aide told the Associated Press Tuesday that the ongoing White House policy review has essentially frozen any previous plans to provide economic or military support to Egypt.  

"This is current practice, not necessarily official policy, and there is no indication of how long it will last," David Carle, aide to Senate Appropriations foreign operations subpanel chief Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) told the AP. 

When asked whether the ongoing review was the White House's roundabout way of cutting off foreign aid to Egypt, Little replied: "I am not aware of any de facto suspension" of aid to the country.

President Obama plans to meet with members of his Cabinet and national security staff on Tuesday to discuss cutting off aid to Egypt.

"The president will convene an National Security Council meeting with principals on his national security team on this issue," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Tuesday. 

For its part, the Pentagon has already suspended initial deliveries of F-16 fighter jets to Cairo in July, due to the rising violence and political turmoil in the country. 

Last Thursday, Obama announced the cancellation of a large-scale military exercise between American and Egyptian forces.

That exercise, known as Bright Star, would have involved hundreds of U.S. ground troops, as well as American warplanes and ships, working in tandem with the Egyptian military and other regional allies. 

On Tuesday, Little could not comment on what other specific, pending U.S. military support programs to Egypt were at risk for delay or cancellation as a result of the ongoing policy review. 

Department officials were in the midst of compiling a list of those pending programs for public release he added. 

Egypt's interim government, led by Egyptian Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has spearheaded a violent crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohammad Morsi over several weeks. 

Hundreds of Egyptian civilians have been killed or wounded since al Sisi's forces moved in on protest sites in Cairo to flush out Morsi supporters who had been occupying the sites for the past several days. 

Morsi, the nation's first freely elected president, and his Muslim Brotherhood government were removed from power by the military-led interim government on July 3.

On Monday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel admitted the United States has limited influence on the unfolding violence in Egypt. 

“Our ability to influence the outcome in Egypt is limited,” Hagel told reporters Monday at a joint press conference with Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan. 

“It’s up to the Egyptian people. They are a large, great sovereign nation. And it will be their responsibility to sort this out," Hagel said.