Saudi says ready to send troops to Syria
Iran Press TV
Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:4PM
Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to deploy special forces to Syria if the US-led coalition allegedly hitting Daesh militants decides to deploy ground troops.
'We will discuss details with experts from the countries involved to decide on the nature of the participation,' Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters during a visit to Morocco on Wednesday.
The top Saudi diplomat, however, refrained from elaborating further on the issue.
On Monday, Jubeir held out the possibility of dispatching Saudi forces into Syria as part of the US-led coalition allegedly fighting Daesh in the conflict-hit Arab country.
'There is a discussion with regard to a ground force contingent, or a special forces contingent, to operate in Syria by this international US-led coalition against ISIS (Daesh) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to provide special forces to such operations should they occur,' he said during a visit to Washington.
The idea of Riyadh's possible participation in ground operations in Syria was first raised on February 4 by Ahmed Asiri, a spokesman for the Saudi Defense Ministry.
Although swiftly welcomed by allies like the United States, the proposal was met with huge criticism from Syria and Damascus' allies. Bahrain and the UAE also followed in Saudi Arabia's footsteps and hinted their preparedness for similar deployments.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem slammed the initiative, saying "coffins" await any aggressor in the country "whether they be Saudis or Turks."
Saudi Arabia is a member of the US-led coalition that has been allegedly conducting airstrikes inside Syria since September 2014 without the Syrian government's permit or a UN mandate.
This is while Riyadh has been among the staunch supporters of the Takfiri militants operating to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since early 2011.
Some 2,500 terrorists currently involved in the deadly militancy in Syria and Iraq are Saudi Arabia's nationals, according to a recent report by the New York-based Soufan Group think tank.
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