Thursday, 7 July 2016

State Department: Riyadh Suggested Offering Forces to Fight ISIS in Syria… We Are Seriously Studying the Issue

Washington-The meeting of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir has tackled the importance of fighting and defeating ISIS, in addition to the latest terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, according to U.S. Department of State spokesperson John Kirby.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Kirby said that the Saudi foreign minister had suggested providing military forces to the campaign against ISIS.

Al-Jubeir had also discussed with his U.S. counterpart means to reach a political transition in Syria, Kirby said, adding that the talks also tackled the situation in Libya and Yemen and the latest developments between Israel and Palestine.

Kerry held an impromptu meeting with al-Jubeir on Tuesday evening, during which the U.S. Secretary of State expressed his condolences to the victims of the terror attacks in Saudi Arabia.

Following journalists’ insistence, Kirby said during a press briefing that discussions concerning the Saudi assistance to fight ISIS were not new.

He said that both countries had previously discussed the matter, and would continue to do so. “It is not a secret that we are tackling efforts to fight ISIS, and Saudi Arabia plays a leading role in the alliance against ISIS. The Saudi authorities previously discussed such idea, and it would not be the last time they do so. These talks are serious,” Kirby said.

Kirby said the U.S. looks at the Saudi suggestion very seriously, but added that both countries have not yet reached a final decision concerning the issue. “I will not speak about the military strategies,” he said.

A month ago, Saudi Arabia announced its readiness to participate in a ground operation in Syria. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, consultant in the office of the Defense Ministry, said last February that the Kingdom was ready for a ground war in Syria, a few days after Riyadh’s announcement that it was ready to send troops to fight ISIS in the framework of an international alliance to defeat the terrorist organization.

Assiri had said that Saudi Arabia had never announced its willingness to participate in an operation sponsored by the international alliance against ISIS in Syria unless it had the serious desire to defeat this terrorist organization. “Saudi Arabia is now in its complete readiness,” he said.

State Department: Riyadh Suggested Offering Forces to Fight ISIS in Syria… We Are Seriously Studying the Issue

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