Egypt's Sissi Voices Support for Syrian President Assad's Military

Remarks likely to irk Cairo's top financial backer, Saudi Arabia, which backs the rebels in the Syrian civil war.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.
Maya Alleruzzo, AP

Egypt's president has expressed support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's military in remarks likely to irk Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab allies that back Syrian rebels in the civil war.

Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi said in an interview with the Portuguese TV network RTP that Syrian government forces are best positioned to combat terrorism and restore stability in the war-torn nation.

Asked if he'd send Egyptian peacekeepers to Syria under a peace deal, Sissi said that "it is better that the national army take responsibility" and that his priority is to "support the national army" of Syria.

Cairo and Riyadh are at odds over the war in Syria. Egypt angered its top financial backer last month when it backed Russian and French draft resolutions on Syria at the UN Security Council.