Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal says the US-led airstrikes allegedly targeting Daesh Takfiri militants in Syria have been ineffective and a ground intervention is needed as Riyadh pushes to win support for its latest scheme in the war-torn Arab country.
The prince told journalists in Abu Dhabi on Sunday that the kingdom had offered to deploy ground forces to Syria as it believed that the US-led airstrikes alone could not defeat the Takfiri group in Syria.
“The world community has the capability, economic, political, military and otherwise, to put a stop to the killing,” he said.
“I think it is high time that people said enough is enough, but simply saying it is not going to do it. There has to be concrete action on the ground to put a stop to the killing,” he added.
The remarks came as Saudi Arabia announced earlier this month that it was ready to send special forces to Syria if the US-led coalition decides to send ground troops. The so-called coalition has been conducting combat sorties against purported positions of Daesh in Syria since September 2014 without a mandate from Damascus or the UN. The airstrikes, which have on many occasions resulted in civilian deaths and damage to Syrian infrastructure, have widely been considered as inefficient.
Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also followed in Saudi Arabia’s footsteps and hinted their preparedness for similar deployments.
The kingdom has sent a number of warplanes to Turkey. The fighter jets also took part in a joint military exercise with Turkey that ended on Friday, claiming that the move was in line with the so-called fight against Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Syria.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey are widely believed to be among major sponsors of terrorist groups operating against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Saudi proposal for ground intervention in Syria, however, received huge criticism from the Syrian government and its allies. Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has said 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.”
Iran and Russia have also warned against the deployment of foreign ground forces into Syria, calling it a dangerous move which could lead to a permanent war.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said Saudi Arabia’s involvement in ground operation in Syria could lead to a “new world war.”
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani has said that a potential troop deployment by regional countries to Syria would be a “very dangerous” decision.