Egypt’s Shifting Position May Tip the Scales in Damascus’ Favor
In recent days, a number of Arab media sources started speaking about Egypt’s growing involvement in the Syrian war. In particular, with a special reference to the Lebanese agency As-Safir, a number of Arab media reported that Egypt is allegedly sending troops to the provide assistance to Damascus. Moreover, we are being told now that Egyptian pilots are already flying sorties in the Syrian Hama. In particular, it has been stated that Egyptian jets and cargo planes have been deployed the province of Hama, and while fighters are bombing ISIS, Egyptian transport planes are helping the Syrian army to rapidly redeploy its cargo and personnel.
At the same time, Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson, Ahmad Abu Zeid denied this information and told reporters of the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida that this information is false, since the doctrine of the High Command of the Egyptian state and its policies are based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.
However, analysts say that Egypt has every reason to join the Syrian war on the side of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, and it has recently witnessed a growing number of reasons to do so.
Just recently the Egypt and Syria governments resumed diplomatic contacts that were brought to a screeching halt back in 2012, when the toppled Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
In late October , Cairo officially joined the group of states that are seeking ways to pursue reconciliation in Syria within the Vienna framework. In particular, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif called Secretary of state John Kerry to involve the Egyptian delegation to the peace talks on the conflict in Syria. Syrian media sources have been pretty vocal recently about the new security cooperation agreement that Cairo and Damascus just signed during the visit of the Syrian National Security Bureau chief Ali Mamlouk’s visit to Cairo.
Earlier Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed support for his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad. In an interview with Portuguese television RTP Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called the current Syrian government is the most consistent in the fight against terrorism in Syria and restoring stability in the strife-torn country
One must note that Egypt’s position on Syria is quite understandable and justified, since Egypt in recent years has been facing security challenged presented by radical Islamists that are pretty much identical to those that are fighting elected officials in Syria. Egypt’s territory remains infiltrated by the members of the so-called Muslim Brotherhood movement, whose members are forming new jihadi sleeping cells every month, which results in regular terrorist attacks. Moreover, along Egypt’s western borders lies the collapsing Libya, where various gangs and jihadist groups work hard to destabilize the situation in the country and the region. To the east is the Sinai, where bloody face-off with the Wilayat Sinai keeps claiming human lives.
In November, Egypt’s intensified contacts with one of the most active allies of the official Damascus – Iran, with which it enjoyed a sort of strained relations after the military coup in Egypt that brought down President Morsi, which among other offenses, was accused of spying for Iran. According to a number of unconfirmed reports, Egyptian oil Minister Tariq al-Mulla made a very unusual trip to Iran, which was considered a longtime enemy of Egypt.
At the same time, it is noted that Egypt’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Qatar are rapidly deteriorating, since Cairo suspects the latter two in the financing of terrorism in Sinai. This encourages Egypt’s foreign policy to establish contacts with opponents of Riyadh. However, such shift in Egypt’s foreign policy has already caused a media outrage of the Persian Gulf controlled media sources, which were directly supported by the French agency AFP.
The reactionary monarchies, just like France and a number of the White House allies in Europe, are full aware of the fact that Egypt’s involvement in the Syrian war on the side of Bashar al-Assad can change the strategic balance in favor of the Syrian officials big time, which was clearly wasn’t planned by the Obama administration and its obedient puppets.
By Jean Périer
Source: New Eastern Outlook