In a significant development in the ongoing Syrian crisis, Saudi Arabia is sending troops and fighter jets to Turkey’s Incirlik military base to launch possible ground attacks on Syria. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has confirmed the deployment in a statement. This move comes days before a temporary ceasefire is due to come into force.
“Saudi Arabia declared its determination against the Islamic State (IS) by saying that they were ready to send both jets and troops,” Mr Cavusoglu said. “At every coalition meeting we have always emphasised the need for an extensive result-oriented strategy in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group,” he added.
However, cooperation with Turkey could prove problematic if Saudi Arabia decides to include Kurdish fighters, who have been one of the most effective forces against ISIS on the ground.
The US has said that it expected the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates to send commandos to recapture Islamic State’s Syrian stronghold and de facto capital of Raqqa.
Russia’s intervention, which has come in for criticism, is supported by Iran. Iran admits sending troops to train Syrian forces that have been accused of sending its forces into combat with rebels.
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