No Egyptian troops in Syrian territories: Foreign ministry

Ahram Online , Sunday 27 Nov 2016

The Egyptian foreign ministry denies reports in Lebanese media that there are Egyptian troops aiding Al-Assad forces in Syria

Egyptian army
File photo of the Egyptian army (Reuters)

Egypt's foreign ministry denied Sunday recent media reports claiming that Egyptian troops were participating in operations with the Syrian army against rebels in the war-torn country.

"These claims exist only in the imagination of those who spread them," Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in media statements, adding that Egypt was committed to the principle of "non-intervention in other countries' internal affairs."

"There are constitutional and legal procedures that are taken before sending any Egyptian soldier or armored vehicle outside state borders.

"Those procedures cannot be taken without the Egyptian people's knowledge," he added.

Last week, Lebanese As-Safir newspaper quoted alleged informed sources in Syria claiming that there was a "unit of 14 pilots from Egyptian air forces" that arrived at Hama air force base.

The newspaper also said that four Egyptian commanders arrived in Damascus earlier this month, giving aid to Syrian government forces. 

Earlier in November, Egypt denied Iranian media reports that it had sent troops to Syria to aid the army in its war against "terrorists."

In an interview with Portuguese TV last week, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stated that Egypt was "standing with the Syrian Arab Army against terrorist organisations".

Egypt has long maintained that a political solution is the only way to end the conflict in Syria.

According to Article 152 of the Egyptian constitution, the president can not send the armed forces on combat missions outside state borders except after consultation with the National Defence Council and obtaining approval from the House of Representatives by a majority of two-thirds of its members.

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