UAE ready to send ground troops to Syria

In this photo made available by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, a convoy of UAE military vehicles and personnel travels from Al Hamra Military Base to Zayed Military City, marking the return of the first batch of UAE Armed Forces military personnel from Yemen, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015.

In this photo made available by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, a convoy of UAE military vehicles and personnel travels from Al Hamra Military Base to Zayed Military City, marking the return of the first batch of UAE Armed Forces military personnel from Yemen, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015.


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Sunday it was ready to send ground troops to Syria as part of an international coalition to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

Asked if the UAE was ready to send troops if need be, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said at a media briefing in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi: “This has been our position throughout.”

“We have been frustrated at the slow pace …. of confronting Daesh,” he added, referring to ISIS by its Arabic acronym.

“We are not talking about thousands of troops but we are talking about troops on the ground that will lead the way … that will support … and I think our position remains the same and we will have to see how this progresses,” he said.

Gargash added “U.S. leadership on this” would be a prerequisite for the UAE.

Saudi Arabia said last week it was ready to participate in any ground operations in Syria if the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq decided to start such operations.

Syria would resist any ground incursion into its territory and send the aggressors home “in coffins”, its foreign minister said on Saturday, in comments clearly aimed at Sunni Arab countries that have said they were ready to join such an operation.


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