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S. Arabia Offers Troops for Syria
International

S. Arabia Offers Troops for Syria

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter welcomed on Thursday a Saudi offer to participate in any ground operations in Syria launched by the US-led coalition.
Carter said increased activity by other countries would make it easier for the United States to accelerate its fight against the self-styled Islamic State militants.
“That kind of news is very welcome,” he told reporters while on a visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Reuters reported.
Carter said he looked forward to discussing the offer of ground troops with the Saudi defense minister in Brussels next week.
He said the Saudi government had indicated a willingness to do more in the fight against IS, which controls vast swaths of Syria and Iraq.
“For instance, Saudi officials had said they would help marshal some Muslim countries to join in the fight and to ensure that Iraqi and Syrian populations were able to prevent a reemergence of the military group later,” he said.
Carter said he planned to use next week’s meetings in Brussels to help encourage more broad-based support for accelerating the fight against IS.
The Pentagon chief said the United States was also watching events in Libya very carefully but had made no decision on expanding its role there.
“The concern there is that Libya not get on a glide slope to the kind of situation that we find elsewhere, where (Islamic State), in a politically disrupted environment, seizes a foothold, gathers a piece of territory from which it is able to tyrannize people and plot operations elsewhere,” Carter said.
IS forces have attacked Libya’s oil infrastructure and established a foothold in the city of Sirte, exploiting a power vacuum in the country where two rival governments have been battling for supremacy.

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