If Saudi Arabia will send its ground troops into Syria, the Middle East region will be plunged into an even deeper chaos, German newspaper Die Welt wrote.
The intention of Saudi Arabia to intervene in the Syrian conflict has caused shock among all parties involved and forced the US to reconsider how far they are ready to go in its support of Riyadh, the article said.
“The United Kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operation of the coalition in Syria,” Saudi Arabian military spokesman Ahmed Assiri told the news channel Al Arabiya earlier. Airstrikes alone would not be enough to eliminate Daesh, Assiri argued. “There rather should be a mix of air and ground operations,” the military representative said.
The newspaper noted that the deployment of Saudi ground troops without consent of the Syrian government will constitute a violation of international law. Moreover, Riyadh is in fact the main “author” of the Syrian conflict as the Saudi monarchy has become the main source of financing and weapons supply to Islamist rebel groups in the region.
The military participation of the Saudis in the conflict will never be approved by Syria, Iran and Russia. For Shiite Iran, Saudi Arabia is the real embodiment of evil, since for many decades Saudi rulers sought to expand radical Sunni beliefs throughout the Middle East. For Moscow and Damascus, in turn, their military achievements in the counterterrorism fight play the most important role. Riyadh’s intervention could negate all the common efforts, and both Russian and Syrian governments won’t let that happen, Die Welt wrote.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia are apparently ready to send ground forces to the Syrian battlefield, but although a direct invasion has not yet been launched, an indirect one is already happening, political scientist Yuri Pochta told Radio Sputnik.
“The fact of the matter is that the invasion is already taking place, but it is indirect. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are acting through rebel groups that are fighting against Damascus,” Pochta explained. “These militants have been less active since Russia launched its aerial campaign. They are losing in several regions.”
Indeed, the Syrian Arab Army, assisted by Russian warplanes and Hezbollah fighters, has managed to turn the tide of war in recent months and is currently on the offensive. This year, Damascus-led forces have scored major victories in Latakia and other provinces, while militants from Daesh and other terrorist groups are retreating. Turkey and Saudi Arabia have backed some of these rebels.
Ankara and Riyadh have “apparently decided to ‘save the day’: to launch a direct ground operation in Syria and overthrow President Bashar al-Assad,” he suggested. Evidence, supporting this sentiment, has surfaced this week.
On Thursday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced that Ankara was “actively,” but covertly preparing to launch a military campaign in Syria. On the same day, Saudi Arabia confirmed its readiness to take part in a ground operation, if the US-led coalition would support one.
Pochta warned that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would further complicate the situation in Syria if they decide to send ground forces to an already overcrowded battlefield. Many experts have long pointed out that resolving Syrian crisis is a major challenge due to the sheer number of stakeholders involved.
“Who will they be fighting against? Will it not turn into a real war, involving Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Syria? Then there is Russia… And Turkey is a member of NATO. The situation is increasingly exacerbated at a time when hundreds of different rebel groups take part in the fighting. Syria is being transformed into a gray zone. Local, regional and global players are all pursuing their own interests. The majority wants to destroy the Syrian state and society. This is tragic,” the analyst added.
Saudi Arabia is offering to send troops to Syria to give the world the impression that Riyadh wants to combat the Islamic State, despite its continual support for the terror group, Gulf Affairs Institute Director Ali al-Ahmed told Sputnik.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense said it stands ready to deploy ground troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State, which is also known as Daesh.
“The Saudis want to appear that they are against terrorism and against ISIS [Islamic State],” al-Ahmed told Sputnik on Friday when asked why Riyadh would announce that it was prepared to send troops to Syria. “ISIS [Islamic State] is a Saudi proxy, just like the 1980s when they supported the so-called mujahideen in Afghanistan.”
Saudi Arabia, al-Ahmed added, is simply trying to appease the United States and its allies, and has no intention of sending troops into Syria.
Another reason that Saudi Arabian leaders will not intervene militarily on the ground in Syria is because they want to avoid direct confrontations with Iran and Russia, al-Ahmed claimed.
US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby recently said the United States is discussing the parameters of Riyadh’s offer to deploy ground forces to Syria.