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Egypt's Sisi says his military can defeat Israel in any future war

Sisi's seemingly hostile comments come despite unprecedented cooperation with Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 October, 2018

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Egypt's autocrat has said his military could defeat Israel in any future war between the neighbouring former enemies, pro-government media reported.

Egypt's president has said his military could defeat Israel in any future war between the neighbouring former rivals, pro-government newspaper Youm7 reported.

Despite being one of Israel's closest allies, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made the bombastic statements during a speech on Thursday to military generals in which he addressed the 1973 war, which he described as "the biggest defeat of the enemy".

"If the Egyptian army was able to do once then it can do it any other time... the losses Israel suffered in 1973 have never been repeated," the general-turned-president was quoted as saying.

"It is not possible that someone would give you land unless they tasted the price of real war. The casualties were in the thousands and they were unwilling for that to happen again,"

He then compared the war to a car race between a German Mercedes and a Spanish SEAT, with Egypt being the underdog.

"It was clear the Mercedes would win. Who would've thought to have a Mercedes compete against a SEAT, other than real men?" he added at an event marking the anniversary of the October war.

The 1973 war saw Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur - the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar - with the aim of forcing it to return territory seized from them in 1967.

Cairo made significant advances, but Tel Aviv was eventually able to repel the assault after suffering severe setbacks and losing more than 2,500 soldiers in a conflict that it was not considered prepared for, following emergency arms shipments from the US.

It led to Israel and Egypt signing a peace treaty in 1979.

Sisi's seemingly hostile comments come despite unprecedented cooperation between the two countries.

The Egyptian leader has warm relations with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and last week said a controversial gas deal with Tel Aviv will turn Egypt into a regional energy powerhouse.

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