A leaked intelligence document has revealed that Egypt was preparing to manufacture and supply a huge cache of ammunition to Russia. As per an intelligence leak reported by the Washington Post, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi told the country's military to make 40,000 rockets and ship them secretly to Russia.
In a move that startled the US security establishment, the Egyptian president told the military leaders to conduct the operation under the wraps so as not to catch the attention of his American allies.
Setback for US
The development is disturbing for the US as Egypt has been a traditional ally of Washington. Making matters worse, the possible secret alignment of Cairo with Moscow comes at a time when the US is steadily losing its once unchallenged dominance in the Middle East.
Last month, Saudi Arabia said it was re-establishing ties with Iran, an arch foe of the United States. Moreover, the deal between Riyadh and Tehran was facilitated by China, which has been steadily making diplomatic gains in the region at the expense of the United States.
According to the leaked document, Egypt also planned to provide Russia with artillery rounds and gunpowder. Russia has been prodding around for military supplies as the war with Ukraine entered the second year. The Kremlin is faced with the combined firepower of Nato in Ukraine and has had few staunch allies who could legitimately supply it with weapons.
Russia Adding Allies
There were reports that China was mulling the supply of lethal weapons to Russia, but Beijing clarified that there were no such plans. There were even reports that Moscow was counting on North Korea for key military supplies. The Egyptian plan to supply rockets to Russia would have helped the Kremlin in making gains in the battle field, even as the US and its European Nato allies have been generously helping Ukraine with military supplies and financial assistance.
"If it's true that Sisi is covertly building rockets for Russia that could be used in Ukraine, we need to have a serious reckoning about the state of our relationship," US Senator Chris Murphy told the Washington Post.
Egypt, UAE Deny Reports
However, Egypt officially denied such reports. "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," said Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid, according to the New York Post.
The leaked document also showed that Russia was also able to persuade the United Arab Emirates, another US ally in the region, to help the Kremlin. Citing the document, the Daily Mail reported that Russian intelligence officers claimed that they 'convinced' the UAE to work together against US and UK intelligence agencies.
However, the Emirates officials dismissed the possibility of such cooperation with Russia. The reports that the UAE deepened its relations with Russian intelligence was 'categorically false.' they said, according to the Mail.