Egypt Says No to Saudi, Drafts Generals and Pilots to Fight alongside Syrian Army against ISIS*
“The small jump needed for Egyptian-Syrian relations to go back to normal” that Syrian Prime Minister Walid al-Muallem spoke of has been achieved apparently.
Mohammad Ballout, from Assafir Lebanese Daily, reported that some Egyptian military formations have recently arrived to Syria, signaling an end to the time where Egypt simply stood by, hands crossed, looking at the goings-on in Syria.
It seems that the Egyptians have sent 18 helicopter pilots to the Hamah Airbase, and it is hoped that they will see action in joint Egyptian-Syrian operations.
Four senior Egyptian military figures also joined the unit when it first came to Syria, and two Major Generals have been operating at the Armed Forces Staff Headquarters in Damascus, near the operations room. The two Major Generals have been touring the fronts since they arrived a month ago, and have been reviewing the efforts made at the fronts, most recently the Southern Front at Quneitra.
These new developments are apparently the result of intensive, unannounced, high profile security meetings that began over a year ago between Cairo and Damascus. Arab sources also expect that these developments will go beyond these symbolic operations, and will see Egyptian task forces operating on a large scale in support of the Syrian army.
Moreover, a senior Syrian security official also said that the Egyptians have promised to send forces to Syria, and have schedule post-December 23rd as the Zero-Hour, whereupon Egyptian participation in Syria will escalate. Another official also revealed that after December, a large number of Egyptian forces will also participate in the Syrian operations, and their participation will not be limited to Aerial support.
President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi had recently revealed in an interview with Portugal’s RTP TV that Egypt will support the Syrian national army, saying that Syria has suffered from a deep crisis for 5 years now, and our position in Egypt is that we respect the will of the Syrian people, and know that reaching a political solution for the Syrian crisis is the best solution. Terrorist groups must also be seriously dealt with and de-weaponized. We also stress on the unity of Syrian soil, so that no secession would come about, and on post-war reconstruction.”
Egypt has clearly chosen to distance itself from Saudi Arabia, refusing to participate in KSA’s “Decisive Storm” aggression against Yemen, and now choosing to support the Syrian army against the Gulf Monarchy backed terrorist, which holds deep political implications.
Egypt denied on Sunday having sent troops to Syria and reaffirmed its commitment to respect other nations’ sovereignty, in a statement attributed to its Foreign Ministry spokesman.
“Some Arab newspapers reported about Egyptian military presence in Syria,” the statement published on the Foreign Ministry’s Facebook page read. “Egypt is committed to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.”
“And those actions cannot be taken secretly without informing the Egyptian people about their objectives,” he added.