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Saudis Say They May Send Ground Troops To Syria Against IS

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on February 4 that the government of Saudi Arabia has indicated it is willing to do more in the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

Carter made the comment hours after the Associated Press quoted a Saudi military spokesman as saying that the kingdom is ready to send ground troops into Syria to fight IS provided the U.S.-led coalition agrees to the proposal.

Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri said on February 4 that the proposal would be discussed with coalition leaders at a gathering in Brussels later in February.

Asiri did not say how many Saudi troops Riyadh was prepared to deploy.

In Washington, Carter said he was aware of the reports of Saudi readiness to deploy troops.

Carter also confirmed that the proposal is on the agenda of the Brussels talks.

The Saudi announcement came a day after tentative, UN-mediated Syria peace talks in Geneva were put on hold.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP