Reports: Egyptian Officers Undergo Russian Military Training in Syria

Reports: Egyptian Officers Undergo Russian Military Training in Syria

   (FNA)- A group of officers from the Egyptian army traveled to the Syrian port-city of Tartous on Tuesday to train with Russian military advisors near the ISIL’s front-lines, media reports said.

Al-Masdar News quoted local activists as saying that the Egyptian officers were accompanied by Russian military personnel upon their arrival in Tartous on Tuesday.

A social media activist, Ivan Sidorenko, wrote on his twitter page that a Syrian army officer has told him that the Egyptian officers came to gain experience in tunnels and guerrilla warfare, while another activist, Izat Savetheplanet, quoted a trustable source as claiming that secret coordination between the Syrian and Egyptian militaries will soon go formal.

No Syrian, Egyptian or Russian official has yet confirmed or dismissed the report.

Tensions were high in relations between Cairo and Riyadh in the past few weeks after the Egyptian envoy at the UN gave a yes vote to Russia’s proposed plan on Aleppo.

The UN Security Council voted on two rival resolutions. One was drafted by France demanding an end to air strikes and the implementation of a no-fly zone, while the Russian resolution urged for a ceasefire but made no mention of the French clause.

Egypt was joined by Russia, China and Venezuela in its support for the Russian resolution.

Egypt also voted for the French resolution that demanded an end to all aerial bombardment and overflights of Aleppo by Russia and Syrian government aircraft.

Meanwhile, Major General Ali Mamlouk, the head of Syria’s National Security Bureau, also paid an official one-day visit to the Egyptian capital city of Cairo in October and held talks with senior Egyptian intelligence officials to discuss the matter.

He met, among others, with Major General Khaled Fawzy, the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate.

The two sides reached an agreement on coordinating political standpoints and improving mutual cooperation in the combat against terrorism during the talks.

While Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Persian Gulf region, particularly Qatar, are financially and militarily supporting the militants fighting to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Egyptian officials have reiterated that the crisis in Syria can only be solved through political means, stressing that Cairo and Riyadh did not share common attitudes vis-à-vis the ongoing crisis in Syria.

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