Tantawi, Hussein

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Hussein Tantawi (Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Soliman), 1935–, Egyptian field marshal. Joining the army in 1956, he became defense minister (1991) and commander-in-chief of the armed forces (1995). He served in the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1956, 1967, and 1973–74, and the First Persian Gulf War (1990–91). Appointed deputy prime minister by President Mubarak in Jan., 2011, he became head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which assumed control of the country following Mubarak's resignation in Feb., 2011. Following the election of Mohamed Morsi as president in June, 2012, a power struggle between the military and the civilian (now heavily Islamist) government ensued, and in Aug., 2012, Morsi replaced Tantawi as defense minister and head of the armed forces.