Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad has regained control over eastern Aleppo with the assistance of Russian and Iranian troops, after it was held by rebels for about four years.
The progress that Al-Assad has achieved is unprecedented in terms of gaining ground and expelling rebels from Aleppo following the start of the civil war in Syria. However, the United Nations (UN) has expressed concerns over the lives of civilians that are being jeopardised by the repeated, reportedly haphazard attacks of the Syrian regime. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also said that children were trapped in buildings as Al-Assad and his allies were carrying out extrajudicial killings. Also, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been trying for weeks to find a humanitarian solution to save the civilians.
There has been no official comment from Egypt on the recent developments in Syria; however, several newspapers and TV talk shows have commented on the humanitarian crisis. At the start of the civil war started in Syria, Egypt voiced no particular position, but showed support for a political solution between all entities and political factions in Syria.
However, in October, Egypt voted in favour of a Russian resolution in the UN security council regarding peace in Syria—a move that was depicted as a support to the Russian stance; hence, support to Al-Assad.
This support was publicly voiced by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi when he said in an interview with a Portuguese TV channel that Egypt supports the Syrian national army, which is affiliated to Al-Assad. However, Egypt repeatedly denied its support to Al-Assad following Al-Sisi’s statement.
Although there was no official statement or comment from Egypt on the recent developments in Syria, media outlets held no reservations. Most of the pro-state media outlets were unabashedly supportive of Al-Assad and his allies’ conquest of eastern Aleppo.
State-owned newspaper Al-Ahram, which is well known for supporting the government’s position on any issue, published an unsigned opinion piece titled “Aleppo is liberated”. The piece read that Aleppo is being liberated by the Syrian army, after it was controlled by militants for four years.
The article continued that dozens of civilians celebrated the state’s gaining control over the afflicted city, after the army expelled the militants who were the reason behind the destruction of the city and the displacement of the civilians.
Al-Ahram concluded its piece saying that the Syrian army and regime regaining power over the rebel-held areas in Syria is inevitable. It was just a matter of time, and Aleppo’s war was proof, it said. It added that it will be better if a political solution can be reached to preserve the unity of Syrian territory.
Al-Akhbar and Al-Shorouk newpapers
Al-Akhbar is a state-owned newspaper while Al-Shorouk is privately owned. The former demonstrated obvious alignment with the government, while the latter took no particular stance, opting for the regular citation of sources from the UN and news agencies.
Al-Youm Al-Sabaa newspaper
The privately-owned newspaper is deemed as a vigorous supporter to the stances of the government and Al-Sisi. “Aleppo defeats terrorism and militants” was the title of the newspaper coverage pertaining to the issue. The piece mentioned the rebels as terrorists backed by Turkey and other foreign powers.
Talk shows and how they tackled the situation in eastern Aleppo
TV presenter Lamees Al-Hadidi said on Tuesday during her talk show that the whole world was conspiring against Syria, saying that the civilians are mercilessly killed every day. Al-Hadidi added that the American-Russian tension has caused entire cities to vanish.
However, TV presenter Wael Al-Ebrashy said that the Egyptian stance on Syria was wise, as Egypt had stressed and supported the importance of maintaining state unity and fighting the militias and terrorists in Syria from the very beginning.