If a US-led coalition decides to start ground operations in Syria, Saudi Arabia says it’s ready to join the fight.
In an interview televised on al-Arabiya TV, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said, “The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Daesh) may agree to carry out in Syria,”
Asseri, who is also the spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen, stated that Saudi Arabia has already been an active member of the U.S.-led coalition against Daesh since 2014, carrying out out more than 190 aerial missions.
He also said that Saudi Arabia believes that the coalition needs to combine both ground and aerial operations to win against Daesh.
Asseri added, “If there was a consensus from the leadership of the coalition, the kingdom is willing to participate in these efforts because we believe that aerial operations are not the ideal solution and there must be a twin mix of aerial and ground operation,” though there was no mention of actually how man troops the kingdom is prepared to send.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said of the general’s comments that the coalition was more than happy to have partners in the fight against Daesh, but had yet to see a proposal from the Saudis.
“I would not want to comment specifically on this until we’ve had a chance to review it,” he said.
Later this month, the US is expected to hold a meeting in Brussels with defense members from countries fighting against Daesh.