Military source denies Syria-bound warships passed Suez Canal

An official military source on Monday dismissed media reports that Chinese warships carrying arms passed through the Suez Canal en route to Syria.

The source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Chinese ships were carrying goods to Ukraine, stressing that their passage through Egyptian territorial waters followed internationally approved rules.

Hassan al-Brince, a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, had defended granting the ships permission to move through the canal, saying Egypt had no right to block their way. His remarks prompted Hazemoun, a group of supporters of former presidential hopeful Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, to attack the Muslim Brotherhood for justifying the measure.

“The Brotherhood youth had dismissed news about the ship as rumors. We say Iranian warships had also passed through the canal twice to the Syrian port of Tartous to supply Bashar with weapons,” Hazemoun members said in their tweets, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been orchestrating a bloody crackdown on anti-regime protesters since March 2011

They said Brince used the same pretexts of international obligations that Hosni Mubarak’s regime used to voice.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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