Saudi Arabia confirms plans to send troops to Syria

A ground operation will likely anger President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the governments of Russia and Iran

Saudi Arabia has confirmed it is planning to deploy ground troops to Syria to fight Isis.

The announcement, reported by the Saudi owned news organisation al-Arabiya, comes after several weeks of rumours the Gulf state would lead troops in Syria

A ground operation will likely anger President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the governments of Russia and Iran - who will see the intervention as an attempt to slow the progress of the Syrian government against rebels, according to Conflict News.

It is currently unclear whether Saudi Arabia will deploy ground troops or call upon their newly-formed anti-terror coalition, made up of over 30 countries. 

Saudi Arabia has previously threatened to remove President Assad "by force" if he refuses to give up his power. 

The kingdom has engaged in a number of proxy wars against Iran, such as the one currently raging in Yemen. 

The US has previously indicated it is in favour of greater military involvement by the Gulf states. 

Some UK officials have argued a Saudi presence in Syria may curb the Russians' increasingly aggressive military action, due to a desire not to damage commercial and diplomatic ties between the two nations. 

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