Report: Iran, Syria, Russia and China could be planning joint war exercise


But both Russian and Syrian officials denied the FARS report, Reuters reported, with the Russian Defense Ministry calling it “disinformation” and the Russian news agency Interfax quoting Syrian officials who said it was not true.

The war games, if they occur, could further escalate tensions between Washington and Moscow over the path forward in Syria, where Russia and China have blocked further action from the United Nations Security Council.

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Monday at the Group of 20 Summit in Mexico where they discussed Syria and pledged to find common ground in that country, where Russia has backed President Bashar Assad despite continued violence.

According to the FARS news report, 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks would be used in the exercises, in which Syria plans to test its coast-to-sea and air defense missiles.

Russian atomic submarines and warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers will also be involved, according to FARS.

The report also said that Egypt agreed to grant passage through the Suez canal to 12 Chinese warships, which are due to dock in Syrian harbors in the next two weeks.