The Obama administration has turned down an urgent appeal from Egypt’s government for the delivery of U.S. Apache attack helicopters needed for counterterrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula.

U.S. officials and a Western diplomat said the 10 AH-64 attack helicopters had been blocked from delivery in October in response to the administration’s opposition to the military ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammad Morsi last year.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo within the past several weeks relayed the Egyptian government’s appeal to send the new Apaches in a cable to the State Department.