Israel was helped in large part by an armament airlift ordered by President Nixon. The Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev objected and threatened to intervene militarily. In response, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, with Nixon's approval, raised America's nuclear threat level. Kissinger simultaneously pressured Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir not to demolish the Egyptian Third Army, which Israel had surrounded by the third week of the war. Kissinger's aim was to give Egypt a face-saving route to a cease-fire. Hostilities ended on Oct. 26, with Egypt better positioned to negotiate a peace treaty.
Egypt and Syria suffered some 15,000 combat deaths during the three-week conflict. Israel suffered 2,688 combat deaths, the largest toll of any of Israel's conflicts with Arab nations or Palestinians.