Egypt denies military support for Assad

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said in an interview his priority is to support national armies in the Arab world. (AP)
Updated 28 November 2016
0

Egypt denies military support for Assad

CAIRO: Egypt on Sunday denied Arab media reports claiming that it had a military presence in Syria, days after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi expressed his support for the Syrian Army.
“These claims only exist in the imagination of those who promote them,” the Foreign Ministry said in the statement.
On Thursday, the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir said that 18 Egyptian air force pilots had been deployed on a military base in the Syrian central province of Hama.
It added, however, that it was “unclear” whether they were taking part in any military operations.
El-Sisi, the former army chief who was elected president in 2014, expressed support for the Syrian military during an interview aired Tuesday with Portuguese broadcaster RTP.
“Our priority is to support national armies, for example in Libya to assert control over Libyan territories and deal with extremist elements. The same with Syria and Iraq,” he said, responding to a question on whether Egypt would contemplate a UN peacekeeping role in Syria.
Asked by the interviewer whether he meant the Syrian military, El-Sisi, who has overseen a warming of ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad, responded: “Yes.”
Syrian security services chief Ali Mamluk made a surprise visit to Cairo in October and met Egyptian officials, in his first public foreign visit in five years.
El-Sisi, who was elected in 2014 almost a year after overthrowing his predecessor Muhammad Mursi, has cracked down on hard-liners and is battling a deadly insurgency.


Libyan militia declares ‘zero hour’ for capturing Tripoli

Updated 57 min 27 sec ago
0

Libyan militia declares ‘zero hour’ for capturing Tripoli

  • The Libyan National Army called on the young people of Tripoli to work with its forces
  • The internationally-recognized government in Tripoli issued a statement saying it had gathered intelligence about possible airstrikes by LNA forces

CAIRO: The self-styled Libyan National Army is declaring “zero hour” in its offensive to capture the capital, Tripoli, from the UN-backed government.
The LNA, led by commander Khalifa Haftar, called on the young people of Tripoli to work with its forces, via a post on its Facebook page published early Saturday.
Meanwhile, the internationally-recognized government in Tripoli issued a statement saying it had gathered intelligence about possible airstrikes by LNA forces against key sites in the capital, including the only functioning airport.
The Government of National Accord in Tripoli said Friday it had intelligence suggesting airstrikes against the capital by Haftar’s allies — including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and France — were likely.
Libya sank into chaos after Muammar Qaddafi’s 2011 ouster and is now divided between rival administrations.