U.S. military aid to Egypt, suspended after the 2013 overthrow of the government, has been restored in an effort to boost Cairo's ability to combat the extremist threat in the region, the White House said.

President Obama notified Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in a phone call Tuesday that the U.S. would be sending 12 F-16 fighter jets, 20 missiles, and up to 125 tank kits, while continuing to request $1.3 billion in military assistance for Egypt.

The aid comes as Egypt is trying to play a leading role in forming an Arab military alliance that can fight terrorism in the region.

The White House said it was not certifying that Egypt has made progress toward democracy, human rights, and rule of law - advances previously mandated for release of the aid. Instead, the U.S. said it was asserting that the aid was in the interest of U.S. national security. - AP