The United States has said that Jordanian King Abdullah announced his country’s readiness to send ground troops to Iraq and Syria to fight the ISIL terrorist group.
The king is set to travel to the US next week and visit the White House on December 5.
In a statement on Wednesday, the White House said that President Barack Obama and Abdullah would discuss “efforts to counter [ISIL] and find a political solution in Syria.”
As a key ally of Washington in the Middle East, Jordan is one of the Arab countries that took part in the US-led airstrike campaign against ISIL in Syria.
Rep. Rob Wittman, a top Republican lawmaker on the House Armed Services Committee, also said there were discussions over the deployment of Arab-country forces on the ground in either Iraq or Syria.
Wittman, who was in Jordan in the past weeks, said that King Abdullah suggested that his country could provide boots on the ground against the terrorist group.
“The Jordanians have provided air support, and they provided some assistance, but no boots directly on the ground, but I think that’s the next discussion that has to take place with the United States and the coalition forces, is what is the effort on the ground look like there?” he told The Hill.
He also noted that military commanders told him there is a need for more combat troops besides the bombing campaign.
“I think there’s a strong consensus that there needs to be more than airpower,” the lawmaker said.
“The key though is this, you won’t displace ISIS (or ISIL) from these areas unless you have boots on the ground [to] retake those territories,” he said. “Airpower has been successful, but its success is limited.”
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria.
The US launched airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq in August. A US-led coalition also began its military campaign against the group in Syria in late September.