US welcomes Saudi ground troops 'offer'

Defense chief says will discuss with Saudi counterpart in Brussels next week after Saudi army expresses willingness to deploy troops to fight Daesh

US welcomes Saudi ground troops 'offer'

World Bulletin / News Desk

 The U.S. defense chief Thursday welcomed reports about Saudi Arabia’s willingness to deploy troops in Syria, noting that he would discuss the issue with his Saudi counterpart in Brussels next week.

During an interview with al-Arabiya TV on Thursday, Saudi military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri said Riyadh “is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition may agree to carry out in Syria”.

“That kind of news is very welcome. I look forward to discussing that with the Saudi defense minister next week -- that and other kinds of contributions that Saudi Arabia can make,” Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told reporters at at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Carter is going to meet defense ministers of 26 countries, which are part of the U.S.-led coalition countering ISIL in Belgian capital Brussels.

The U.S. defense chief acknowledged that the Saudi government has indicated willingness to do more in the fight against ISIL.

“I should mention also Saudi Arabia has indicated a willingness to take the lead in marshaling some Muslim-majority countries,” he said, noting that the Saudi government would contribute to the fight against ISIL significantly.

Carter said that the Netherlands also pledged to support anti-ISIL operations in Syria last week, in addition to the Dutch government’s existing contributions to the campaign in Iraq.

“You see others stepping up, and the reason why I'm going to Brussels next week is to bring the full weight of the coalition behind accelerating the defeat of ISIL,” Carter said.

 

Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2016, 08:58
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