According to a leaked U.S. intelligence document, Egypt has struck a secret deal with Putin for 40,000 missiles.
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President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi of Egypt, one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East and a major recipient of U.S. aid, recently ordered subordinates to produce up to 40,000 rockets to be covertly shipped to Russia, according to a leaked U.S. intelligence document.
A portion of a top-secret document, dated Feb. 17, summarizes purported conversations between Sisi and senior Egyptian military officials and also references plans to supply Russia with artillery rounds and gunpowder. In the document, Sisi instructs the officials to keep the production and shipment of the rockets secret “to avoid problems with the West.”
The Washington Post obtained the document from a trove of images of classified files posted in February and March on Discord, a chat app popular with gamers. The document has not been previously reported.
The disclosure comes as Russia is fighting a war with Ukraine, in which both sides are seeking resupply of depleted arsenals.
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In response to questions regarding the document and the veracity of the conversations it describes, Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, said that “Egypt’s position from the beginning is based on noninvolvement in this crisis and committing to maintain equal distance with both sides, while affirming Egypt’s support to the U.N. charter and international law in the U.N. General Assembly resolutions.”
“We continue to urge both parties to cease hostilities and reach a political solution through negotiations,” he said.
A U.S. government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to address sensitive information, said: “We are not aware of any execution of that plan,” referring to the rocket export initiative.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, declined to address the content of the leaked document but said that Egypt remained a “significant security partner” for the United States.
“We’ve seen no indication that Egypt is providing lethal weapons capabilities to Russia,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh noted that the Justice Department has opened a probe into the leak of classified documents.
During a media briefing on Friday, the commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, said that the US has resumed the Biolabs Program in Ukraine.
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