ANKARA – Defense ministers from the US-led coalition against Islamic State discussed the possibility of a Syrian ground incursion two weeks ago in Brussels, but have not made a decision, an aide to Saudi Arabia’s defence minister told Reuters on Monday.
“It was discussed two weeks ago in Brussels,” Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said in a telephone interview from Riyadh. “It was discussed at the political level but it wasn’t discussed as a military mission,” he said. “Once this is organized, and decided how many troops and how they will go and where they will go, we will participate in that,” he said. “We need to discuss at the military level very extensively with the military experts to make sure that we have a plan.” Asseri also said the Kingdom was now ready to strike Islamic State from Turkey’s southern Incirlik air base, where four Saudi fighter jets have arrived last week. The jets haven’t yet participated in any attacks, he added.