Iranian media outlets reported on Tuesday that Iran, Russia, China and Syria are to conduct joint military exercises in Syria next month.
The semi-official Fars News outlet, which has ties to the Iranian government, cited “certain unofficial sources” in its report but did not say what those sources were.
The report appears to have originated on Arabic language Syrian media outlet ShamLife, which said the war-games were scheduled in less than a month’s time.
Other Iranian media outlets, including the Revolutionary Guards-linked Mashregh News and Mehr News, which is owned by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization, also carried the same report on Tuesday, but did not cite any Iranian official sources confirming it.
Fars admitted that there has as yet been no official announcement confirming the war-games, but cited an unnamed Syrian official had declared that a joint exercise between those four countries would be carried out “soon”.
Preparations for those exercises would be carried out in the next few days, Fars quoted “informed sources” as saying, adding that the exercises would involve ground troops, air forces and naval forces.
Meanwhile, the ShamLife report said “sources” had confirmed previous leaks about the wargames, and that preparations for the military exercise were being carried out at an “accelerated pace”.
According to ShamLife, China had gained Egyptian approval to allow 12 Chinese ships carrying military equipment to pass through the Suez Canal, and that these vessels would reach the Syrian ports of Tartous and Latakia in two weeks’ time.
ShamLife said Syrian air defense missiles and its coastal defense would be put to the test in the military exercises, and that 90,000 troops from the four countries would be involved in the war games along with 400 aircraft and 1,000 tanks and “hundreds of rockets.”
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