Reuters – June 19, 2012
An adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied an Iranian media report that Syria would host Russian, Chinese and Iranian military forces for joint exercises, the Russian news agency Interfax reported on Tuesday.
An Iranian news agency, Fars, reported that 90,000 troops and hundreds of ships, tanks and warplanes from the four countries would take part in the war games on land and sea in Syria soon.
“There will be nothing like that. This is one of those (pieces of) false information that are distributed about (Syria),” Interfax quoted Bouthaina Shabaan, an adviser to Assad who was in Moscow on Tuesday, as saying.
Interfax said she was referring to a report on al-Arabiya television that was similar to the Fars article.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Jon Boyle)
Biggest Iranian, Russian, Chinese, Syrian War Games in ME Soon
Al-Manar News – June 19, 2012
“90,000 forces from the four countries will take part in the land and sea war games to be held along the Syrian coasts,” the sources said, adding that ground, air and sea forces as well as air defense and missile units of the four countries will take part in the exercises.
The sources also said that Egypt has acceded to grant passage to 12 Chinese warships to sail through the Suez Canal, adding that the military convoy is due to dock at the Syrian harbors in the next two weeks.
Russian atomic submarines and warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers as well as Iranian battleships and submarines will also arrive in Syria at around the same date, Fars reported.
A sum of 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks will also be used in the exercises.
A Syrian official, who asked to remain anonymous, had informed two weeks ago that the drills would be conducted in Syria soon, the agency said.
Unofficial sources also said the four countries are now busy with taking swift preparatory measures for these biggest-ever war games in the Middle-East.