Sources: Egyptian Army’s Engineering Units to Join Anti-Militancy War in Syria

Sources: Egyptian Army's Engineering Units to Join Anti-Militancy War in Syria

   (FNA)- The Egyptian army plans to send a unit of sappers to Syria in the next few days to help their Syrian counterparts with demining the recently-freed territories in Aleppo, media sources disclosed on Wednesday.

According to the Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper, the engineering team will arrive in Tartus port in Syria soon to cooperate with the Syrian and Russian forces in missions to defuse the mines and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) planted by terrorists before retreating from Eastern Aleppo districts.

The report said the Egyptian military and security experts are now present in several Syrian bases and coordination centers, including the Syrian Army General Staff center in Damascus, Hama airbase, Hmeimim airbase and T4 base in the Eastern parts of Homs.

Also, a number of Egyptian officers and security and military attaches are present in the operations rooms in Dara’a, Hama, Jourin village (Southeast of Hama) and Sahl al-Iqab regions where the Syrian and Egyptian officers share experience.

Based on information obtained by the Arab media, the number of the Egyptian military and security experts in Syria will most likely increase to 200 by the end of the current year.

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, media reports say that Egypt is helping Damascus with anti-terrorism operations.

Late in November, a military-diplomatic source confirmed earlier reports that Egyptian military men are participating in operations against the terrorist groups in Syria.

While Cairo has dismissed presence of its military forces in Syria, the Arabic website of Sputnik news agency quoted the source as telling Izvestia newspaper that the information disclosing that the Egyptian army men are present in Syria is true.

Izvestia newspaper quoted the security source as saying that a number of Arab states, including Egypt, have changed their position on Syria’s developments. Cairo has understood that the ISIL and other terrorist groups at war with the Syrian government are serious threats to Egypt as well.

The source added that Damascus welcomes participation of any Arab countries in anti-terrorism efforts in Syria.

Egypt denied 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 have reported about Egyptian military presence in Syria,” the statement published on the Foreign Ministry’s Facebook page read, and added, “Egypt is committed to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.”

The spokesman stressed there are existing constitutional procedures on foreign deployment that Egypt had to follow.

“And those actions cannot be taken secretly without informing the Egyptian people about their objectives,” he added.

Lebanese media reported last month that several Egyptian pilots have entered the Syrian army’s airbase in Hama, adding that Cairo has decided not to remain indifferent and participate in the anti-terrorism operations in Syria.

According to al-Safir daily, the Egyptian forces have started their work in Hama airbase since November 12 and a group of 18 pilots have also jointed them, mostly helicopter pilots.

The paper said it is not clear if the Egyptian pilots have started airstrikes in Syria or not but their presence at Hama airbase shows that Egypt has made its decision to speed up aid to the Syrian government.

According to the daily, the first group of 4 high-ranking Egyptian officers entered Syria and were deployed in the Syrian army’s general staff base in Damascus, adding that two Egyptian Major Generals have started work in the Syrian army’s operations room since over a month ago, and their responsibility is leading reconnaissance operations, the latest of which was in Quneitra in Southern Syria, the Golan Heights and Dara’a.

The Lebanese paper quoted Arab sources as saying that Cairo is also studying dispatch of its ‘Thunder Forces’ to Syria to help the army more extensively in operations.

It also quoted senior Syrian security sources as saying that the Egyptians have promised Damascus to send their forces to Syria and will start massive participation in battles in Syria on January 23, adding that Cairo’s military presence will go beyond its role in Hama airbase

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.

Russian Airborne Vehicles to Land First in Africa Within Drills With Egypt

A BMD-2 airborne fighting vehicle crosses a water obstacle during a command & headquarters exercise involving the 106th Guards Airborne Division in Russia's Ryazan Region
     Russian airborne vehicles are going to land on the African shore during joint drills with Egypt, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.
    AL-UMAED (Egypt).   BMD-2 airborne assault vehicles and BTR-D armored personnel carriers have become the first ever Russian airborne vehicles to land on the African shore within the Defenders of Friendship joint drills with Egypt, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.
   “For the first time military equipment of Russian Airborne Troops had been parachuted on the African continent of the Ilyushin Il-76MD aircraft. Five BMD-2 and one BTR-D successfully landed on strapdown parachute systems on the landing pad,” the ministry said, adding that the equipment was dropped off 600 meters (1969 feet) height.
    The Egyptian military parachuted two G12 jeeps of two Lockheed C-130 Hercules from a height of 400 meters.
    The first Russia-Egypt anti-terrorism drills kicked off in Egypt on October 15 and will last until October 26. Over 500 servicemen from Russian Airborne Troops take part in the exercise as well as more than 15 helicopters and planes.

Claims of Egypt Selling Mistral Ships to Russia ‘Nonsense’ – Russian MoD

 

 The Sevastopol amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire

 

   The Russian Defense Ministry denied on Friday claims by the Polish defense minister alleging the sale of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers by Egypt to Russia for $1, calling them ‘nonsense.

‘MOSCOW — The Egyptian embassy in Moscow refuted the claims earlier in the day.

   “Statements by Antoni Macierewicz about the sale of Mistral-class helicopter carriers by Egypt to Russia are nonsense,” ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

   “Macierewicz regularly makes statements of this kind to promote his image,” Konashenkov stressed.

   In August 2015, Paris and Moscow formally terminated the 1.2-billion-euro (some $1.3 billion at current exchange rates) deal on the construction and delivery of two Mistral-class warships. Shortly after, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that a deal had been reached with Egypt on the delivery of two Mistrals to the Arab country.

   On Tuesday, Anatoly Punchuk, deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said that Egypt had appealed to Russia to supply Ka-52 helicopters (NATO reporting name: Hokum B) for the Mistrals.

Airborne servicemen of Russia and Egypt carry out joint firing in course of Defenders of Friendship-2016 joint exercise at day- and nighttime

 

 

Today, the Russian Airborne servicemen have left al-Umaed military base of the Egyptian Armed Forces in order to hold joint day and night firing.

Combat firing with small arms is held at the Alam al-Hadem range.

Russian and Egyptian servicemen spent more than 4 hours firing small arms and grenade launchers.

Military servicemen of both countries have performed more than 600 firing tasks and engaged more than 800 targets at different distances.

Egypt Appeals to Russia for Supplies of Helicopters for Mistral Ships

 

 Mechanics work on a Ka-52K Katran helicopter at the Progress aviation plant in the Primorsky Territory

    Anatoly Punchuk, deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), said that FSMTC received n appeal from the Egyptian side for the supplies of shipborne Ka-52.

   PARIS. Egypt has appealed to Russia to supply Ka-52 helicopters (NATO reporting name: Hokum B) for Mistral helicopter carriers, Anatoly Punchuk, deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), said Tuesday.

   “We received an appeal from the Egyptian side for the supplies of shipborne Ka-52. The customer is considering the possibility of forming several helicopter squadrons. The exact amount will be agreed in the course of further negotiations,” Punchuk said.

Russian paratroopers hold nighttime firing drills in Egyptian desert

© Yuri Smityuk/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Russian airborne forces and Egyptian troops have held joint daytime and night firing drills at the Defenders of Friendship 2016 maneuvers, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

“Today Russian airborne forces have for the first time left Egypt’s El-Umayed military base for the joint daytime and night firing drills using combat arms at the Alam el-Hadem practice range. The paratroopers from both countries held shooting practice, firing from automatic rifles and hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers, demonstrating their skills. During the gunnery exercises, the servicemen of both countries accomplished more than 600 firing assignments and then hit over 800 targets at various distances,” the Defense Ministry said.

The Russian-Egyptian Defenders of Friendship anti-terror drills involve over 500 servicemen. During the wargames, the servicemen from both countries will be assigned the missions to liquidate illegal armed formations in the desert. The drills being held on the territory of Egypt will last through October 26. Representatives of more than 30 countries are observing the drills.