Damascus: Ground Operation in Syria Without State Approval ‘Aggression’


Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Saturday that any ground operation in Syria without Damascus’ approval is an “act of aggression”.

On Thursday, the Saudi Arabian Defense Ministry said it was prepared to deploy ground troops to Syria to fight ISIL. On Friday, the White House welcomed the Riyadh’s announcement.

Later, Bahraini ambassador to Britain Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed al-Khalifa said in a statement that the kingdom would commit troops to operate “in concert with Saudis.” He added that the United Arab Emirates, a member of the Saudi-dominated Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, was also ready to commit troops.

The Syrian foreign minister also said during a press conference in Damascus that Riyadh-formed Syrian opposition delegation at the Geneva peace talks “walked away from the dialogue” after Syrian army’s advance.

A Saudi-backed opposition group walked out of the negotiations in Geneva on Wednesday, after which UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced the intra-Syrian talks were put on a three-week pause.

The Syrian leadership has requested the United Nations to present a list of people who will represent the opposition at the Geneva talks.

“We demanded the UN special envoy for Syria [Staffan de Mistura] to give us the list of people with whom we will negotiate, since we do not intend to speak to ghosts.”

Riyadh has been a member of the US-led coalition that has been launching airstrikes against Daesh in Syria since September 2014, without the permission of Damascus or the United Nations. In December 2015, Saudi Arabia started its own Muslim 34-nation coalition to allegedly fight Islamic extremism.

Daesh or ISIL/ISIS is a Wahhabi group mentored by Saudi Arabia and has been blacklisted as a terrorist group everywhere in the world, including the United States and Russia, but Saudi Arabia.

Both Tehran and Moscow have issued stern warnings to Riyadh, stressing that the Saudi intruders, who in fact intend to rescue the terrorists that are sustaining heavy defeats these days, will be crushed in Syria.

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the guts to send its armed forces to Syria.

“They claim they will send troops (to Syria) but I don’t think they will dare do so. They have a classic army and history tells us such armies stand no chance in fighting irregular resistance forces,” Jafari told reporters in Tehran on Saturday.

“This will be like a coup de grâce for them. Apparently, they see no other way but this, and if this is the case, then their fate is sealed,” he added.

Jafari, said this is just cheap talks, but Iran welcomes the Saudi decision if they decide to walk on this path.