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mouallemSyria will see any incursion on its territory as an act of aggression, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Saturday, days after Saudi Arabia announced it was ready to send in ground troops.

“Any ground intervention on Syrian land without the agreement of the Syrian government is an act of aggression … we regret that those (who invade) will return to their countries in coffins,” al-Moualem told journalists.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, both said this week they were ready to participate in any ground operations in Syria if the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq decides to start such operations.

“I don’t think they will do what they say about using ground forces, but at the same time, when I look at their crazy decisions made not just in Yemen but in other areas nothing can be ruled out,” Moualem said, alluding to a Saudi-led military campaign against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Moualem also cited Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who recently said a ceasefire in Syria was very unlikely until the borders with Turkey and Jordan have been sealed.

Rebel groups fighting Assad have received supplies via both Turkey and Jordan. Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian conflict in support of Assad has helped Damascus to reclaim territory previously lost to rebels.

The Bahraini ambassador  to London  Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed al-Khalifa said the Saudi initiative in Syria was meant to combat both Islamic State and “the brutal Assad regime”, a reference to President Bashar al-Assad, a bitter foe of Saudi Arabia.

 

REUTERS

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