Egypt and Russia invited defense officials from 13 countries to observe aerial counter-terrorism exercises this month, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday, October 15.
“At the invitation of the Egyptian side, representatives of the defense ministries from the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait, Bahrein, Oman, Sudan, Jordan, Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, the Republic of Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan have been invited to observe the drills of airborne forces of Russia and Egypt,” Tass reported the ministry as saying.
The joint “Defenders of Friendship-2018” exercises began on October 13 and are scheduled to continue through October 26.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, the drills will involve 400 paratroops, 15 helicopters and other aircraft from the Egyptian Air Force and Russian Aerospace Force.
Last year’s exercise was held in Russia’s Krasnodar Region.
The Egyptian army is waging a major operation focused on the Sinai aimed at wiping out Islamic State’s Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province). Earlier this month, ISIS announced the death of a Wilayat Sinai commander, Abu Hamza al-Maqdisi.