Egyptian government supports Russian air strikes in Syria

Egyptian foreign minister supports Russia’s military moves in Syria, says its intervention will counter terrorism

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry said on Saturday that Russia’s intervention will halt the spread of terrorism and deal a major blow to ISIS in the war-torn country.

"Russia's entrance, given its potential and capabilities, is something we see is going to have an effect on limiting terrorism in Syria and eradicating it," Shoukry said in a televised interview.

Shoukry’s remarks was the latest sign of warming relations between Russia and Egypt.

Russia started carrying out air strikes in Syria around the city of Homs on Wednesday, starting its biggest intervention in the Middle East in decades amid the increasing violence in the country’s civil war, which has been going on for more than four years.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin said he is targeting ISIS and also helping Syrian President, Bashar al Assad, United States is concerned that Moscow is propping up Assad, who is Russia’s closest ally in the region.

On Friday, Putin said one of the purposes of Russia’s military moves in Syria was to protect the Arab country’s territorial integrity.

However, Egypt refrained from showing support for Assad, because the king of Saudi Arabia, who is a key Egyptian ally and also supporting the country economically, believes Assad should be ousted.

Egypt and Russia conducted their first joint naval exercise in June. Both countries called for forming a coalition to fight against terrorism in the Middle East during a state visit of Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el Sisi to Russia in August.

Egypt is suffering from a growth of violence in North Sinai, where the most active militant group pledged allegiance to ISIS and continues to carry out deadly attacks against Egyptian security forces and civilians.

Russian military announced on Sunday that it has targeted 10 ISIS camps in Syria over the past 24 hours, as it aims to expand its bombing campaign.

Russian jets hit a target near the town of Talbiseh in western Syria on Sunday, local residents and human right groups monitoring the Syrian war said, a day after Russia vowed to carry on with its air strike campaign.

The human rights watch monitoring Syria’s four-year-old civil war reported Russian air strikes on Sunday in Homs province and neighbouring Hama province.

"Ten infrastructure targets of ISIL [ISIS] bandit groups have been struck," The Russian defence ministry said, adding that Russia would expand their bombing campaign.

TRTWorld and agencies