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U.S., Saudis Discuss Sending Special Forces Into Syria

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has held out the possibility of sending Saudi special forces into Syria as part of a U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group.

"There is a discussion with regard to a ground force contingent, or a special forces contingent, to operate in Syria by this international U.S.-led coalition against ISIS and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to provide special forces to such operations should they occur," he said on February 8.

Jubeir spoke after he met for a second day with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington. Their talks focused on conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

A department spokesman confirmed talks of a "ground element" in Syria.

Four months of Russian air strikes have tipped momentum toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the nearly-five year Syrian civil war.

The Syrian Army, in a major offensive backed by Russia and Iran, is advancing toward the Turkish border.

U.S. President Barack Obama has resisted committing U.S. ground troops to Syria, but he last year decided to deploy up to 50 U.S. special operations forces

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP