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Exclusive: Egypt 'opposed to US-led strikes against Syria regime' for suspected chemical attack Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Exclusive: Egypt 'opposed to US-led strikes against Syria regime' for suspected chemical attack

Egyptian media has voiced alarm over an imminent war in Syria [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2018

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Egyptian authorities are opposed to expected US-led action against the Syrian regime following a suspected chemical attack against civilians, sources have said.

Egyptian authorities are opposed to expected US-led action against the Syrian regime following a suspected chemical attack against civilians, sources have said.

Egyptian diplomatic sources told The New Arab on Thursday that Cairo objects to military intervention in Syria and has ordered its military personnel there to abandon their posts.

"A strike will only benefit extremist groups and weaken the Syrian regime's efforts to take back territory from these groups," the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

Egyptian foreign ministry officials have been contacting their US counterparts in a bid to prevent a seemingly imminent military strike against the Syrian regime, according to the sources.

"Cairo has ordered its military experts in the country to leave military bases," they added.

Egypt has denied reports that it has stationed troops in Syria, however, there are believed to be some Egyptian military personnel in the country gathering information on extremist groups and training the Syrian air force.

Egyptian media has voiced alarm over an imminent war in Syria between the US and Russia since US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to bomb Syria for an alleged chemical weapons attack.

A suspected regime chemical attack in the rebel-held Syrian town of Douma last weekend killed at least 40 people and injured 1,000 people.

Trump was evasive Thursday over when the United States might fire missiles at Syria, saying they could come at any time.

Tension has been mounting among top world powers over the alleged chemical attack.

France's Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he had "proof" that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons, and would respond to it "at a time of our choosing."

British Prime Minister Theresa May was due to hold an emergency cabinet meeting amid speculation she will support US action against the Syrian regime.

Germany's Angela Merkel said it was "obvious" that Syria had failed to eradicate its chemical arsenal as it had earlier claimed.

Meanwhile opponents of unilateral US action called an emergency closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council for Thursday.

The White House has said that Trump holds Assad's regime and its military backers Russia responsible for an alleged attack on Douma on Saturday.

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