The United Arab Emirates has said that it is ready to supply ground troops to help support and train an international military coalition against Isis in Syria, provided such efforts were led by the United States.
Asked whether the UAE could be expected to send ground troops to Syria, and if so under what circumstances, foreign affairs minister Anwar Gargash said: “I think that this has been our position throughout... that a real campaign has to include ground elements.”
Saudi Arabia, one of several Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states, including the UAE, who are opposed to Isis, said last week it was ready to participate in ground operations in Syria if the US-led coalition decided to start such operations.
Mr Gargash said that any potential supply of troops would not have to be particularly large.
“We are not talking about a thousand troops but we are talking about troops on the ground that will lead the way, that will train, that will support... and I think our position remains the same and we will have to see how this progresses.”
Following Saudi Arabia’s announcement, Syria’s foreign minister said on Saturday that Damascus would resist any ground incursion into its territory and send the aggressors home “in coffins”.
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