Will Saudi Arabia send ground troops to Syria?

The Gulf States have been relying on the United States to protect the gulf region from the Iranian expansion, but this has changed in the previous years until the Iranian Nuclear deal came to an agreement which resulted in the improvement of the US-Iranian relations which came at the expense of the security of the Gulf States. This made Saudi Arabia more aware that it has to act alone to draw a new political map, ensuring the preservation of its national security and for the whole region.

CNN Arabic has reported that Saudi Arabia and allies [Egypt, Sudan and Jordan] are preparing to intervene in Syria by sending ground troops to fight against the Islamic State and probably Nusra front [al-Qaeda] and other Jihadist groups. Saudi Arabia and Turkey will be leading the new Joint Forces Command, which will enter Syria from the north through Turkey.

The article also says that that Saudis have expressed many times that airstrikes alone will not defeat the Islamic State, the Saudis are expected to discuss about this possible intervention with the United States officials and defence ministers from coalition countries fighting Islamic State in Brussels next week.

Ashton Carter, the US defense secretary, welcomed the Saudi offer to participate in ground operations in Syria. Carter said increased activity by other countries would make it easier for the United States to accelerate its fight against Islamic State.

“That kind of news is very welcome,” he told reporters.

Saudi Arabia are willing to intervene in Syria to stop the Islamic State’s influence in the region and to protect its national security from radical influences. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have armed and supplied the Syrian opposition during the five-year Syrian war, by putting boots on the ground would mark a major shift in this bloody conflict.

Saudi troops on the ground fighting with the opposition militant groups against the Assad regime is a very significant escalation, and hopefully will get the Russians to the Geneva peace talks, rather than thinking they can create am Alawite state in Syria. Saudi Arabia will find itself in confrontation with the Assad’s ally Iran, and its backed militant groups. The hostile enemies have been engaged in proxy wars in a number of places in the region, most currently in Yemen.

Kataib Hezbollah which is one of Iraq’s most powerful Iranian-backed Shiite militias has issued a statement warning Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries of sending ground forces to Syria saying “The Arab kingdoms tried Daesh mercenaries to implement their malicious plans in Iraq and Syria, and they failed. The sons of Saud and those rulers who stand behind them not to take a risk and to learn (their) lesson.”

Kataib Hezbollah has sent thousands of fighters to Syria to support President Bashar Assad’s troops in fight against the Syrian opposition forces.

The Saudi intervention in Syria against the Islamic State will certainly weaken the power of the Islamic State in Syria and this will surely help the Syrian opposition militant groups in their fight against Assad regime forces and Iranian backed militant groups.

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