Egypt denies sending military troops to Syria

Sunday 27-11-2016 06:02 PM

The building of Egypt's Foreign Ministry. ASWATMASRIYA/ Ahmed Hamed

CAIRO, Nov 27 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt’s foreign ministry denied in a statement on Sunday the presence of Egyptian military troops in Syria, reiterating its commitment to non-intervention in internal affairs of other countries.

Last week, Lebanese newspaper As-Safir cited “well informed Arab sources” as it reported that Egypt sent a group of 18 helicopter pilots to Syria to fight alongside the Syrian Army. The pilots were dispatched on Nov.12, according to As-Safir.

The newspaper said that the air operations may have not started yet but confirmed the presence of the pilots in Hama airbase.

“These allegations exist only in the imagination of those who promote them,” foreign ministry’s statement read, stressing on Egypt’s commitment to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

It added that there are constitutional and legal actions that need to be taken before sending any troops outside the country, saying they wouldn't take place without informing Egyptian people about the objectives behind them. 

Egypt used to maintain an ambiguous stance regarding the situation in Syria since the conflict broke out more than five years ago, and reiterated the need of a political solution for the Syrian crisis.

However, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi voiced his support for the Syrian army in an interview with Portuguese TV network RTP last week, saying that his is priority is to support national armies of Syria, Libya and Iraq. 

When asked about the possibility of sending Egyptian troops to Syria, Sisi said, "it's better that national armies take the responsibility of preserving security and stability."

Syria’s state-owned news agency SANA also reported last month that Syria's National Security Bureau Chief Ali Mamlouk visited Cairo to coordinate with Egypt in the fight against terrorism.

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