Doha – East

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It seems that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s verbal support for Bashar al-Assad has been mixed with support on the ground, which was revealed by international reports and leaks that confirmed Sisi sent a military division into the Syrian interior to support Bashar’s regime and support it in the operations it is engaged in.

Years ago, specifically in November 2016, Al-Sisi made statements on the sidelines of his visit to Portugal, in which he stressed that “our first priority is to support the National Army in Syria (Assad’s forces).”

Al-Sisi’s statements at the time were met with harsh criticism, especially since the Syrian regime, which wasted the blood of its people and killed hundreds of thousands, was involved in war crimes.

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Sending soldiers
On July 30, the Turkish Anadolu Agency announced, according to private sources, that “the Sisi regime recently sent armed forces to the countryside of Aleppo and the Idlib region in northern Syria, in coordination with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.” 

The agency revealed that about 150 Egyptian soldiers entered Syria a few days ago through Hama military airport, and spread to the western countryside of Aleppo and the southern countryside of Idlib, while Western reports confirm that the number of Egyptian fighters in Syria has reached 550 soldiers.

The sources also indicated that “the two main areas in which those forces were deployed are: Khan al-Asal town in the western countryside of Aleppo, and the vicinity of Saraqib city in the southern countryside of Idlib.” 

Anadolu sources indicated that “Egyptian soldiers move in the aforementioned areas alongside and in coordination with terrorist groups affiliated with Iran, and are deployed with their light weapons on the front lines in the vicinity of Saraqib against the Syrian opposition factions.”

The arrival of the Egyptian soldiers coincided with the crowds of groups affiliated with Iran and the regime forces on the lines of contact with the moderate opposition factions in the de-escalation zone, where the ceasefire violations by Iran and regime forces have increased recently.
A dangerous leak is
what reinforced the news of sending Egyptian soldiers to fight alongside Bashar al-Assad’s forces, what was revealed by Major Yusef Hammoud, the senior commander of the Syrian National Army, who is considered the most prominent military spokesperson for the Syrian opposition in northern Syria.

Hammoud sent audio recordings proving the presence of Egyptian soldiers in northern Syria, on the fronts of fighting against the Syrian opposition, and the East obtained a copy of the recording.

The leader of the opposition Syrian National Army confirmed that the recordings were unquestionably correct, and stressed that the talks were intercepted in the western countryside of Aleppo, and that they had been directly received by the relevant authorities in the opposition that intercepted the calls.

In the call that was intercepted in the western countryside of Aleppo, one of the Egyptian soldiers told another named “Yusef” over the radio with a coded wave that he needed a specific number to communicate, and that one of them had to talk to his friend, who appeared to be of the highest rank.

The Syrian opposition leader revealed that the Egyptian officers met in Aleppo with the Russians and the Iranians, about a month ago, in preparation for the arrival of the Egyptian special forces to the fronts.

He said: “About 148 Egyptian special forces personnel were transferred through three batches from the city of Ismailia to the Hama military airport, and they were transferred to the city of Aleppo, where they were stationed in Khan al-Asal, on the western outskirts of Aleppo, and in the city of Saraqib in the countryside of Idlib.”

Military reports from inside Syria confirm that the Egyptian air force carried out precise operations deep in Aleppo and Idlib, causing the killing of dozens of Syrians, until these crimes were adopted by Assad’s aviation as a way to fight extremist groups. 
Exploratory tours

This was not the first time. Years ago, a group of Egyptian pilots fighting alongside Bashar al-Assad’s army was spotted.

In November 2016, the Lebanese newspaper “As-Safir”, close to Hezbollah, revealed that “18 Egyptian pilots have recently joined the Syrian Hama air base, and it is not known if these pilots have actually participated in military operations.”

The Lebanese newspaper confirmed that “in the Syrian headquarters in Damascus, two Egyptian officers with the rank of major general have been working for a month, close to the operation rooms and have been conducting reconnaissance tours on the Syrian fronts, since their arrival in Damascus.”

On February 28, 2017, the Syrian opposition site, Orient Net, obtained leaked audio recordings confirming the participation of Egyptian pilots in air strikes targeting areas in Syria, especially in the countryside of Damascus and Daraa, in a new confirmation of the presence of Egyptian soldiers in support of the Assad regime.

The “Southern Observatory” operating in Daraa recently documented brief audio conversations in the Egyptian dialect, where the pilot of the plane (an Egyptian) was receiving instructions from the Air Navigation Command Center at the Seine airport in Damascus countryside, to target areas in Damascus countryside and Daraa.

It is strange that Article 152 of the Egyptian Constitution states that “the president of the republic is the supreme commander of the armed forces. He does not declare war, nor does he send the armed forces on a combat mission outside the borders of the state, except after taking the opinion of the National Defense Council and the approval of the House of Representatives by a two-thirds majority of the members.” .

This did not happen in the current Syrian case, with the Egyptian political and media blackout on the news of the presence of Egyptian forces in Syria.