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Egypt denies military presence in Syria

Egyptian military planes [Pool / Egyptian Armed Forces/Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian military planes [Pool / Egyptian Armed Forces/Anadolu Agency]

Egypt’s foreign ministry has denied Arab media reports about an Egyptian military presence in Syria.

“These claims only exist in the imagination of those promoting them,” the Egyptian foreign ministry’s spokesman, Ahmed Abu Zeid, said in a statement Sunday, stressing that Egypt is committed to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs.

Abu Zeid pointed out that there are constitutional and legal actions that should be taken before sending any Egyptian troops or military equipment abroad.

“These measures are not done secretly without informing the Egyptian people” he added.

Lebanon’s As-Safir newspaper reported last Thursday that Egypt had sent in early November an 18-member air force unit to Syria’s Hama airbase in order to assist the Syrian army.

Last week, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said in an interview with Portuguese media outlets that his country supports the Syrian army in the face of extremist forces.

In response to a question on sending Egyptian troops to Syria, Al-Sisi said that “our first priority is to support the national army, for example, in Libya to impose control over Libyan territory and deal with extremist elements and bring about the desired stability; the same applies to Syria and Iraq.”

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