02:25 GMT20 April 2021
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    A Chinese military expert has rejected reports about a Chinese aircraft carrier which was allegedly on its way to Syria to take part in the fight against Islamic State militants.

    The Liaoning CV-16, China's only aircraft carrier, isn't on its way to Syria, according to Zhang Junshe, a military expert and employee of the Research Institute of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Navy.

    In an interview with the Chinese newspaper Huantsyu Shibao, Zhang rejected "false rumors" about the Liaoning CV-16 being en route to the Mediterranean.

    "China's position is to respect the free choice of the Syrian people and not to add to a military intervention in Syria or a forcible power shift, which is why China could not send an aircraft carrier to Syria to interfere in the internal affairs of the country," Zhang said.

    He also pledged that China will not support any groups or individuals in Syria, saying that Beijing adheres to a fair and objective approach to this issue.

    Also a Syrian military source told Sputnik that no Chinese naval vessel has been observed in the territorial waters of Syria. 

    "The reports spread by some media in recent times, are just rumors and are absolutely false," the military source said.

    Earlier, the Lebanese news network Al-Masdar quoted a Syrian military source as saying that the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning-CV-16 was due to arrive at a Syrian military base in Latakia in the coming days.

    Israeli military sources went even further, claiming late last week that the Liaoning-CV-16 had already docked at the Syrian port of Tartus.


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    Daesh, approach, aircraft carrier, intervention, Liaoning, China, Syria
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