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Iraqi premier warns against sending troops to Syria

10 February 2016 21:32



The Iraqi premier has warned against the deployment of ground troops to Syria, describing the envisioned move as a “dangerous escalation.”

The warning, which was issued on Wednesday, came after some regional Arab countries expressed readiness to get involved in a ground operation in Syria.

“Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for a political solution to the Syrian crisis and not to send ground troops because that would lead to a dangerous escalation,” a statement posted on Abadi’s website said, noting that the Iraqi premier made the remarks during a visit to the Italian capital city, Rome.

Earlier in February, Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, an adviser to the Saudi defense minister, said the kingdom was prepared to participate in any ground operations that “the [so-called US-led] coalition (against Daesh) may agree to carry out in Syria.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir echoed the same position on Wednesday, saying, “We will discuss details with experts from the countries involved to decide on the nature of the participation.”

Apart from the Saudi regime, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have said they are willing to send troops to Syria to join the US-led campaign allegedly fighting Takfiri Daesh group.

Saudi troops stand behind a pile of ammunition at a position close to the Saudi-Yemeni border, in southwestern Saudi Arabia, on April 13, 2015. ©AFP

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has said in reaction that any “ground intervention on Syrian territory without government authorization would amount to an aggression that must be resisted.”

He has also warned that potential aggressors would return home in a “wooden coffin.”

Saudi Arabia is a member of the so-called US-led coalition that has been conducting air raids against what are claimed to be the Daesh terrorists inside Syria without any authorization from the Syrian government or a UN mandate since September 2014. The US-led strikes have, on many occasions, targeted Syria’s infrastructure and left many civilians dead.

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.

The Syrian troops, backed by Russian air raids, have been engaged in a major offensive around the city of Aleppo, which has reversed gains by militant groups backed by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab states.

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